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Deliverance From AIDS

September 25, 1988

It was with great sadness that I read the article in View on Marty James. I, too, watched the tortured death of someone in my family from Hodgkin's disease; my younger sister died six days before her 20th birthday. Several years later I was friend, lover and nurse to a man dying of AIDS. I have certain empathy for Marty James because more than once I wished for peace for both of those faces; faces I loved but could hardly recognize through the distortion of pain and suffering.

However, more than any other emotion, I feel pity for James. He, like so many, have looked out life's window only to find a mirror, and in that mirror they see death and loneliness and pain, none of which they can bear so they grasp for a final release, or so they imagine, for themselves and those who are now cursed with their compassion.

I have AIDS. I was hospitalized in September of 1986 with the opportunistic infection PCP (pneumocystis carinii pneumonia). Since then, I have had no recurrence of this disease nor the occurrence of any other. I am 100% asymptomatic for AIDS, continue to work full time and have for the last two years.

In his article, Stephen Braun quotes Ron Weigart's lover, Joe Perez, as saying, ". . . I knew it was a death warrant (Weigart's AIDS diagnosis). You know you don't survive. Nobody has survived." Unfortunately for Perez, Weigart, the very hopeless Keith Lower and most of all, for Marty James, they will never know if that is really true or not.

MICHAEL L. HALEY

Long Beach

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