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World AIDS Day

Dear editor:

World AIDS Day has been recognized each year on Dec. 1 since 1988. I would like to remind this community of this date and what it signifies: raising awareness, education and fighting prejudice. HIV is a disease, nothing more than just what it is. It's a chronic disease that is manageable with medication therapy, no different from hypertension, diabetes or arthritis, to name a few.

HIV has not gone away as it continues to reach into every corner of Hot Springs. This disease is not in the media or newspapers as it once was years ago, but it's still here and has grown to include all areas of this city.

The stigma associated with HIV is very real and that's unacceptable now. There are over 325 people infected here that are documented. We can only speculate how many people are out there who don't know their status for whatever reason.

I want to remind you these people are your mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters and children -- do you fall into one of these categories?

As a society, we are failing our future generations of young people. I believe it should start at home with parents, but it's not happening as it should. Communication is the key as it is in many areas. Don't expect someone else to do it. Our public school systems need to address real-world issues and not attempt to be socially correct and not offend someone. All our churches need to be open with their congregations. The fastest population of new infections are in the 16- to 24-year-old range and 65 and over. Our youngest person to test positive was a 14-year-old in one of our local school districts and our oldest was 72. Both of them contracted this disease sexually. We should and can do more to prevent this.

HIV does not discriminate by race, sex, or national origin, but it is emotionally and financially devastating. Initially being a homosexual meant a high risk for this illness. Today, the majority of the infected are heterosexual persons. People have the mindset that they're not at risk of being infected with HIV. People need to think again; most of our patients didn't think they were, either. Please ask yourself this question, "Have I ever been placed at risk for HIV?"

Mike S. Melancon MSW

Director of Clinic Services

Tuggle & Shelby Clinic

Time to work together

Dear editor:

To Moms Demand Action:

Who are you trying to kid? You are not a nonpartisan organization. You are so far from it that it is an insult to think you expect me and others to believe that. Your very own mentor and benefactor Michael Bloomberg is now running for president on the Democrat ticket. Democrats are well known for their anti-gun, anti-rights, and use of groups such as yours for partisan purposes.

We have plenty of background checks going on. We need to enforce the laws we already have on the books. I hope you realize alcohol kills more each year than firearms. Why is it that the Democrats failed to pass the background check notification amendment. See the article The only ones who will be safe are the criminals because they don't obey the law. Democrats are not known for caring about law-abiding citizens, rather, they make a concerted effort to protect the criminals form consequences of their actions. Why else would the Democrats reject authorities when someone fails to pass a background check?

Why was it that your group cannot accept the fact that as a society we have devalued human life and unfortunately you cannot legislate that? Rather than have a peaceful discussion I was met with red faces, nostrils flaring, heavy breathing, jaws clenched, and fist clenching. You are not the calm rational folks you want us to all to believe. Let's sit down and discuss the problem and see where we have common ground. Nope, you folks just want to rant and rave and make more laws that don't serve a purpose other than to disarm the law-abiding citizen. I still believe that if you folks been armed my and the only witnesses were your group my life would have been in danger. And that is based off of the body language of your group.

Red Flag laws. Do you not remember the recent case in Massachusetts where an 82-year-old crossing guard had his guns confiscated and was placed on suspension for a waitress reporting him as a threat? The report was false, but he still lost his guns. Why? Because someone overheard part of a conversation and filled in the rest herself and made a false report. No due process; his firearms, gone. I have yet to see some common-sense red flag laws that protect the public and protect due process.

Anytime mental health issues come up your group gets in a huff and blows off that issue. Can you really come to the table and act like adults without bullying or threatening posturing?

We need to work together, and making more laws that don't address the root of the problem don't serve any purpose. You say you don't want to point fingers but that is all you do. And you have no interest in working together with those who don't believe as you do. So let us come to the table acting like adults, please.

Sharon Parrett

Hot Springs

Editorial on 12/03/2019

Print Headline: Tuesday's Letters to the editor

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