A Piece of My Mind Section Editor: Roxanne
K. Young, Associate Editor.
She seemed to weigh no more than a feather, and her eyes seemed to probe
deep into the soul of whoever held her. Her mother had given her the name
Mo, which in Vietnamese means "Dream," but her mother was nowhere to be found.
At the age of 2 months, Baby Mo was to be adopted from an orphanage on the
outskirts of Hanoi by a young couple from the United States. Tears of joy
suddenly became tears of sorrow, however, when Baby Mo's HIV test came back
positive, despite earlier assurance by the maternity hospital that all mothers
had had mandatory screening for HIV at the time of delivery and that Baby
Mo's mother's test was not among the positive results. Where and why this
"error" happened we probably will never find out. But all dreams of a happy
life for this beautiful infant suddenly ended, since the adoption process
could no longer go through. Where did "the system" break down for this child?
For how many more infants will the window of opportunity for the prevention
of HIV perinatal transmission be missed?
Le CT. Baby Mo. JAMA. 2004;292(2):153-154. doi:10.1001/jama.292.2.153