There was so much about yesterday that was difficult, that was heart-rattling, that was soul-wrenching, but also, there was this:
This little girl, just one year old, was born HIV free to a mother with HIV. She continues to test negative for HIV. She has one more round of testing to go, which will occur when she is 18 months, before she will be declared completely free of mother-to-child transmitted HIV. I held her hand yesterday, and tickled her, and made her giggle. She is a success story here, in Lesotho, in the fight against HIV.
So is he:
They are why this work is so important. They are why you need to sign this petition. They are why you need to – why I hope you will – ask others to sign. Funding countries are meeting in New York this week at the UN to address their Millennium Development Goals and to decide whether to continue funding programs like Born HIV Free. Programs that save the lives like those of these children. Programs that give hope to communities whose hope might otherwise die.
These children are hope, embodied and waving chubby fists. We need this hope.
(God, I sound like Sally Struthers, don’t I? You will forgive me this, I hope. It’s worth it, it really is.)