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THERE IS NO DENYING that the late Jimm Altman was a talented musician. I have been a fan of his music since my brother, Brian, introduced me to him in December 1981. There is also no denying some facts not printed in “Jimm Altman: The Unheard Music” (“Artifacts,” 2/17). Jimm Altman was a junkie. A heroin addict. A liar. A thief.
Jimm’s proclivity toward heroin and other drugs led to his HIV infection and early death, and he twisted the version of receiving the news about his HIV infection. The truth is, my brother Brian, upon hearing of his own HIV infection, immediately told Jimm and warned, “You should get checked.” Jimm had known for two years he was HIV positive.
The sad realization is that while alive, Jimm Altman wasted his talent, his record contract, his career, and ultimately his life. Jimm’s recklessness will shorten my brother Brian’s life. There is nothing anyone can do about that. But I will not let Jimm in death take Brian’s self respect and reputation.
Falls Church, Va.