December 1995

You Can Call Me Willy: A Story for Children About AIDS

Author Affiliations

Department of Pediatrics University of South Florida College of Medicine Tampa, FL 33606


by Joan C. Verniero, 32 pp, $8.95, ISBN 0-945354-60-6, New York, NY, Magination Press, 1995.

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1995;149(12):1404. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1995.02170250110026

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As a physician treating children with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, I was delighted to review this book and share it with my wife and two daughters. My children are around the same age as the character of the book, Willy. I found this book to be a wonderful supplement to the information available to parents and young children regarding HIV and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome in the pediatric setting.

The transmission modality described in this book, vertical transmission from the mother, is handled very well. It is notable also that Willy is cared for by her grandmother, which is a common situation for HIV-infected children. It describes some of the difficulties that children with HIV encounter in their life, such as going to school and suffering from discrimination, receiving second looks, and being made to feel different. The story shows the good side of some people,

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