Letters: No monopoly on grief over Aids

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The Independent Online
Sir: John Lyttle (27 September) portrays "Aids professionals" as "medical staff who care for those with HIV" and "activists". This is a false divide, undermining some of the hard-hitting comments which rightly follow.

Those who provide support for people with HIV should always learn from their experience, so as to develop policies and practices that tackle the discrimination surrounding HIV and improve the quality of life for people with HIV - and for people generally in need of health and social care.

In the same way, those who raise the issues of policy development - challenging homophobia, improving confidentiality, establishing appropriate systems of funding and, in passing, raising models of health care not reliant on the Western model alone - should do so in such a way as to involve and benefit people living with HIV now.

Neither category has a monopoly on grief. Neither has the right to possess people or the issue. But both activism and care are necessary.

JOHN NICHOLSON

Director

George House Trust

Manchester

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