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A Piece of My Mind
May 23/30, 2001

I Have a Girl Child

Author Affiliations

A Piece of My Mind Section Editor: Roxanne K. Young, Associate Editor.

JAMA. 2001;285(20):2555-2556. doi:10.1001/jama.285.20.2555

An infectious diseases physician, I was invited to lecture about HIV in Africa by African Americans who wished to offer philanthropic help. As mothers and daughters at the back of the room gathered refreshments while the program began, I advanced the projector to a bold illustration of an African Madonna with child, emblem for an orphanage where dozens of children affected by AIDS are being raised. The next image depicted a mother-toddler pair, the child appearing afraid and ill, the mother proud and desperate. As I spoke, my 19-month-old daughter dallied showily among the rows of metal folding chairs, examining audience members full-faced.

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