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Sample Letters to the Editor
Example #1:
Dear Editor,
[Reporter’s Name]’s article, [Name of Article], of [Date of Article] was entirely misleading on
the role family planning can play in preventing HIV transmission. HIV positive women, like
HIV negative women, desire contraceptives in order to plan and space the timing of their
pregnancies. Providing access to contraception to help women avoid having unintended
pregnancies can prevent significantly more mother-to-child transmission of HIV than providing
the drug nivirapine at delivery. And preventing unintended pregnancy prevents abortion.
[Reporter’s Name] calls this “aggressive family planning.” I call it sound public health. While
PEPFAR has had a tremendous impact in extending treatment to HIV positive people, preventing
infection in the first place is lagging in the fight against AIDS. UNAIDS and others estimate
that six individuals become infected for every one HIV positive person starting on antiretroviral
therapy. This signals that we need to be promoting every possible prevention intervention.
Family planning, through access to contraception, is a cost-effective intervention in the fight
against AIDS. Shamelessly dismissing family planning under the guise of opposing abortion is
not at all helping the women, men and families of Africa and other countries served through
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Example #2:
Dear Editor:
As the world examines the achievements and challenges towards eradicating HIV/AIDS on this
World AIDS Day, we must take a critical look at the conflicting realities making women and
girls vulnerable to the perpetual face of HIV/AIDS. Access to treatment is extending the lives of
HIV-positive people in remarkable ways, and yet unwanted pregnancy among HIV-positive
women is on the rise. While incidents of HIV are declining in some African regions, women
continue to become infected through sexual transmission at alarmingly high rates. Unless steps
are taken to address their HIV/AIDS and sexual and reproductive health needs, women and girls
will remain the unwilling victims of this deadly epidemic.
Contrary to what some may think, marriage poses significant risk of HIV infection for women in
many parts of the world. In fact, more than eighty percent of new HIV infections in women
occur in marriage or in long-term relationships. Despite global recognition of the unique
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