Letter: Not only the poor get TB

Click to follow
YOUR chilling report on the New York tuberculosis epidemic ('Consumed by guilt', Sunday Review, 18 October) describes people with Aids, and the 'poor and helpless'. Murky 'poverty' photographs continue to spread the message that only 'they', not 'us', get this kind of disease.

Yet, when a society fails to care for itself, all its members fall ill, sometimes literally as well as metaphorically. Last week my father, an 84-year-old, middle-class New Yorker, who is not HIV positive, began treatment for tuberculosis.

He is very seriously ill. Who infected him? Someone on the subway? At the local takeaway? George Bush? And who are we infecting right now by separating ourselves from 'them'?

Helen McNeil

School of English and American Studies

University of East Anglia