My husband and I want to thank you sincerely for "AIDS: 15 Tales of Compassion and Fear," by Mona Gable (Aug. 30) and for affording us the opportunity to tell the story of our son, Bill, and his struggle with AIDS. Since the article was published, we have had phone calls and letters from many concerned people, all of them heartwarming. A research biologist told me his firm is working 24 hours daily in an effort to find a vaccine for AIDS; a frantic mother called to say her son had just been diagnosed positive and could she talk with me; a group of health-education students at a local college asked me to speak to their class; a young man who is ill asked for help in telling his family he has AIDS, since they have never accepted the fact that he is gay; a Methodist minister thanked us for being so open and told me of the church's efforts to minister to persons with AIDS. There is a definite compassionate reaching-out by people concerned about this terrible crisis in our country, and they want to help.
We miss the sight of the slim young man we loved. We shall always miss his smiling face. Now I am looking into the faces of other young men and giving them the smiles and hugs I can't give to my son anymore.