When I log onto GMail on my HTC Desire, I can't find a way to access my GMail contacts. I read that there was some link on the left of the screen. I see none. I am now at a loss
The Gmail app does not have a contacts section -- you only see you contacts when typing in the To field or whatever. You should have a Contacts app with your Gmail contacts, if you are syncing them. To change your sync settings, look in
Settings -> Accounts and sync.
If you're referring to the website, that's not an Android question. But the mobile website doesn't have Contacts on the left, you have to view the Full site (there's a link at the bottom of the mobile view).