We can only hope people read “Silence = Denial” (11/17). By some strange twist of fate, I was in San Francisco when AIDS was still being called “the gay cancer,” and I never got it. I’ve had a few good friends die from it, though not as many as some.

This is not a competition. We were all relatively young then, and there was a fatal abandon to our actions. A lot of us are dead now. We can’t go back.

Thank you for publishing this story.