From Our Readers

Huntington’s Disease I had to express my sincere thanks for the article “Huntington’s Disease—Understanding a Genetic Tragedy.” (March 22, 2000) For 20 years I cared for my husband, who was afflicted with this disease. An article such as this, written with sensitivity and understanding, is going to be welcomed by many.

N. G., New Zealand

Thank you for the article. Your explanation was simpler than our doctor’s. My mother was diagnosed with Huntington’s disease [HD] about three years ago. It is very painful to watch her struggle to talk, eat, and walk. One thing you didn’t mention is that long-term memory seems to stay intact longer than short-term memory. So talking about old friends or sharing old pictures with someone who has advanced HD can be helpful and comforting.

J. M., United States

My husband was diagnosed with Huntington’s disease four years ago. About a year and a half ago, I wrote to the publishers of Awake! and asked for help on this subject. When I saw this article, I cried tears of relief and joy.

D. B., United States

Hepatitis Transmission It seems that a mistake appeared in the April 22, 2000, “Watching the World” item “Most Common Blood-Borne Infection.” You said that the hepatitis C virus [HCV] was spread primarily through sexual contact or through infected blood. Actually, sexual transmission is exceptional and only occurs under specific circumstances, such as during menstruation.

C. A., France

The brief item may have given the wrong impression, since sexual contact does not appear to play as large a role in spreading hepatitis C as does intravenous drug use. According to the “Harvard Health Letter” of February 1996, spouses of HCV-positive people are at little or no risk. Even so, an article in the August 19, 1999, issue of “The New England Journal of Medicine” reported regarding the prevalence of HCV infection in the United States from 1988 to 1994: “The strongest factors independently associated with HCV infection were illegal drug use and high-risk sexual behavior.” It also stated: “Although the spread of HCV through sexual activity might be inefficient, . . . the large number of chronically infected persons in the population provides numerous opportunities for exposure among persons who have multiple sexual partners.”—ED.

Body Piercing Thank you for the article “Young People Ask . . . What About Body Piercing?” (March 22, 2000) I am 16 years old and have been thinking for some time about having my body pierced. Although I had asked several people for their view on this, I was still unsure of what to think. However, the clear and informative article helped me to realize that body piercing is definitely not for me, even though it is very popular.

E. C., England

As a former singer for a punk rock band, I found your article on body piercing to be very timely. How ironic it is that people seek to be individuals by following the latest trends!

F. S., United States

Morality Yesterday I read the series of articles “What Has Happened to Morals?” (April 8, 2000) What a dose of reality! This series shows just how ugly sin is. In all honesty, before becoming one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, I was an extremely immoral person. Even now I struggle against strong fleshly desires. However, with Jehovah’s love and care, the assistance of loving elders, the support of my Christian brothers and sisters, and articles like these, I now have the upper hand in the fight.

J.C.P., United States