We need more stories about stray cats and those who care for them

Our readers have their say about HIV, stray cats and F1

Lucy, a cat with a brain injury rescued in Sharjah. Courtesy Fawaz Kanaan
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I write to you in reference to Evelyn Lau's piece 15 amazing portraits from pet photoshoots in Dubai (September 13).

I love reading stories about volunteers taking care of stray cats. I moved to Abu Dhabi years ago and I was never really interested in the subject. Then one day, I found a kitten in the parking of my building and I could not turn my back on it.

One year later, I am so grateful and I can’t explain how much joy the company of a pet can bring into the family. Later I decided to rescue another cat from a shelter.

I wish The National had a regular section on the activities and stories of the volunteers who work so hard to help stray animals.

Gianfranco di Gennaro, Abu Dhabi

Those living with HIV deserve to live a life of respect and dignity

I write to you in reference to Nick Webster's article World Aids Day: Drug breakthroughs and changing attitudes mean a better life for those with HIV in UAE (December 1): this piece filled my heart with joy. I was active on the frontlines of the fight against Aids in its early days and witnessed the stigma associated with the disease. Families abandoned their children and many – including in western governments – sought to quarantine people who were HIV positive.

I am incredibly proud and humbled by the three gentlemen who were willing to share their stories with Mr Webster.

HIV transmission is increasing in the Middle East, a trend that goes against the global decline of the virus. More needs to be done to educate the public about transmission, prevention, early testing and, most importantly, prevent those who suffer from it to be stigmatised. As a compassionate, tolerant and forward-thinking nation, the UAE has shown that it is in a good position to do just that.

I wish Adnad, Bu Mohammed, Tarek and all others living with HIV long and happy lives. And I hope that those who love them will treat them as they otherwise would if they had not contracted the disease.

Elan Fabbri, Dubai

epa08037311 Princy Mangaika, Executive Director of Positive Women's Network (PWN), herself an HIV infected patient and another female make AIDS awareness ribbons at her residence in Colombo, Sri Lanka 01 December 2019. Mangalika, a mother of two acknowledges that she contracted the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) in 1999 from her spouse who had worked overseas and identified as positive in 2000, and says that those in her village had set their home on fire when they became aware of their illness. Without giving up hope, she has continued to assist in awareness-raising and also runs a care center for several AIDS patients. Currently, her organization WomenÕs Network (PWN) has 586 members including 44 children. Several events were held in Colombo to coincide with World AIDS Day on 1st December. The estimated number of people infected with HIV in Sri Lanka is around 3500 to - 4200 by 2018, but only around two-thirds of them know that they have HIV, according to the National STD/AIDS Control Programme (NSACP) of the Ministry of Health, Sri Lanka. The island nation aims to completely eradicate Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and the Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) by the year 2030.  EPA/Chamila Karunarathne
A woman wears AIDS awareness ribbons. EPA

Another glorious win for legendary Formula One racer Lewis Hamilton

I write to you in reference to a photograph by Reuters shared on The National’s Facebook page, featuring Formula One winner Lewis Hamilton after he won this year’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Congratulations to Lewis Hamilton, a world-class F1 driver.

Evon Rawlings, UAE