Readers are introduced to "Brandy's" mother, who is "dismayed" that parental notification was not involved when her daughter was tested for HIV at Braddock High School. Let's face it, teenagers don't exactly tell their parents about their sex lives, let alone that they are going to do the responsible thing and be tested for HIV. I think Florida law understands this, considering that parental notification is not mandatory.

Don't get me wrong. I understand that "Brandy," knowing she was HIV-positive, must have felt uncomfortable. But any self-consciousness she might have felt that "forced" her to be tested should not be blamed on a wonderful organization like Care Resource.

The article goes on to explain that the original classroom wasn't available and the gym wasn't intended to be the place for the HIV presentation, yet Care Resource's Ronny Barnett was asked to bring literature for a thousand students? Supposedly the school administration was not aware of all of this. So where was the principal when a huge mobile testing unit was allowed on campus?

A nurse practitioner said in the article that a school is not an appropriate place for testing owing to the "devastation" students will endure if they find they are positive. Anyone who learns they're HIV-positive will be devastated, and it doesn't matter where they learn that. Furthermore, Barnett and the rest of the Care Resource workers are trained professionals prepared to deal with a positive test; they know what to expect, know what to say, and know where to direct individuals when they ask, "And now what?" The article failed to mention this, especially in reference to the students receiving test results. They don't just pick up results in the front office. They are seen by the Care Resource counselor, who confidentially gives them their results.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, every hour two teenagers are infected with the HIV virus. I don't know of any high schools in southwest Miami-Dade that have clinics providing testing, so it is beyond evident to me that programs such as this are not only a good idea but extremely important.

Name Withheld by Request


Liberals Need Enemies

Otherwise we'd be too cheerful and easygoing: Regarding Bob Macron's letter criticizing "The Bitch" and her "pitiful ass-kissing" when it comes to blacks ("Let Me Tell You About that Column of Yours," July 1), he is one ignorant racist fuck. But there are always a few of these people out there to keep us liberal, tolerant, multiculti folks on our toes in case we get too complacent -- as if the Bush administration hasn't already gotten us liberals all in a tizzy, and rightfully so.

It turns out that most of the so-called bad areas Macron mentioned -- Overtown, Little Haiti, West Coconut Grove, Liberty City -- are undergoing gentrification and are probably the hottest redeveloping neighborhoods in Miami.

I wonder where good old Bob lives in New York City. I'd love to move in next door so I could say, "Good morning, ya bastard."

Edward Woods


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