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New York Times
Too Late on Health

October 19, 1998

To the Editor:

I was especially pleased to see your Oct. 12 front-page article "In Small Town, U.S.A., AIDS Presents New Set of Hardships," as it demonstrated the daily challenges of living with H.I.V. in rural America. As the director of an H.I.V. education and support agency in Ithaca, N.Y., I can readily concur wth the difficulties of rural confidentiality, transportation and lack of knowledgeable and experienced medical care practitioners. Poverty, isolation and distrust of outsiders all too often also contribute to ignorance of prevention education needs.

People in rural areas must be enterprising and interdependent. However, they lack long-term financial support for the growing needs.

Support is needed that would maximize indigenous strengths along with innovative solutions that rural service providers can bring to the people with H.I.V. in our communities.


Ithaca, N.Y., Oct. 15, 1998

The writer is executive director of AIDS Work of Tompkins County.