This little girl, "Luisa," is one of our youngest HIV patients at the clinic. On the day this picture was taken, she was in for her five-month check-up, and I was chosen to be the model for her monthly photograph. At only six pounds, Luisa feels like a newborn in your arms. She was born several months premature to a mother who did not realize she was pregnant - and also did not realize her own HIV-positive status. Abandoned at birth, Luisa found her way into the care of a neighbor woman with three grown children. She has been our patient since then, and with the help of HIV medication, donated formula, and lots and lots of loving attention she has been growing and doing well. It's wonderful to see the staff interact with her - each visit lasts a few hours because at least 9 different people have to hold and cuddle Luisa. She is passed from lap to lap and smiles for everyone! Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers as she continues to grow and develop.
We have recently returned to the poultry farm outside Los Conucos (where we were working a year and a half ago) to re-assess the area's health status and water usage. At this home, young women came out of the woodwork during the survey, curious about what we were doing. Everybody was excited to have her picture taken!