Mark Bellis (letters, 4 November) is quite right to highlight the government's continuing failure to implement the 15-month-old recommendations of its own civil service group on HIV funding to health authorities. As he says:

'Such delay will perpetuate the severe difficulties many health authorities face.'

Delay raises doubts about future services, both for people who are HIVpositive now and for the growing number of people who will become HIVpositive. Delay perpetuates the severe uncertainties of whether treatments will continue to be available or whether the full spectrum of services will be damaged by HAs playing one service off against another - for example, setting high drug costs against the complementary lower-level community health services which are essential to help people adhere to fierce drug-taking regimens.

HAs have a role, on behalf of residents, to take this up properly with the government and to support people needing services locally. HAs can help by passing on as little of the uncertainty as possible.

Dr John Nicholson Director George House Trust Manchester