Thursday, February 8, 2007

Surviving, but barely

Take a look at this beautiful child, Kyamanuwa. His mother is in our Kwejuna Project and when this photo was taken in early December, he was a picture of health. At that point, he had tested HIV negative and we thought he would be fine, but in the following weeks, he began to lose weight and become very sickly. Dr. Jennifer Myhre then re-tested him for HIV and found he had become infected (either because he may have already been infected when he tested negative but it wasn't evident because there is a delay in when antibodies to HIV show up on a test, or perhaps he became infected from his mother's breastmilk after testing HIV negative). What a cruel irony.... I saw him yesterday in the clinic and almost burst into tears in front of his mother. He was barely recognizable, except for his large penetrative, still curious eyes. He looked at me through them with recognition, but I couldn't coax a smile from him. No wonder. He was covered in a rash and looked like just skin and bones, as he tried to grasp a small piece of bread which he could then barely swallow. Dr. Jennifer has started him on HIV drugs (antiretrovirals) but so far his body doesn't seem to be responding to them. These drugs, when they work, can bring people who are on the edge just hanging onto life, back from the brink. Please, please join me in praying for Kyamanuwa. I truly believe that prayers offered up to our God - the one who created and loves children - on Kyamanuwa's behalf can extend the life of this precious child. (For Dr. Jennifer's story about Kyamanuwa, visit her blog at

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