To the Editor:
Re "AIDS Obstacles Overwhelm a Small South African Town" (front page, March 29):
While I sympathize with South Africans who are infected with the AIDS virus, I disagree with the statement that drug cocktails have "to some extent transformed AIDS into a chronic illness in the West." Many Americans are infected with this dreaded disease and eventually die from it.
The medicine they take can possibly prolong their lives, but what is the quality of life while taking these drugs? The drugs can make people with the AIDS virus feel and look sicker then they really are. I know -- my brother, John, succumbed to AIDS in 1995.
The AIDS virus is here to stay. The medical community should keep searching for a cure, but in the meantime it should provide comfort, medicine, education and every means available to help the ill, wherever they live.
Holtsville, N.Y., March 29, 2001