Admissions Committee

HIV Soccer Tournament

He looks like the perfect college applicant. He has a set of nearly perfect grades on his high school transcript, a really great score on the national exam for high school students that determines placement into the Kenyan universities, and a record of leadership in student organizations and leading his soccer team to national victory. He is 18-years-old, and he wants to be a doctor. When he talks about his hopes for the future, his dreams gleam in his eyes with the determined glory of a marathon runner crossing the finish line.

The only complication to this college application are the laboratory results on the paper in front of me. Not only is he infected with HIV, but his immune system is not doing well. His CD4 cells that fight infection are low, low, low. And his viral load, the measure of the amount of virus in his blood, is very high. If only his HIV medicines had been as successful as his row of straight As. Worse yet, he is already on our second-line of HIV medicines, and making a third set available to him is a big problem. 

"I will fight it," he says. And I cannot help but believe him. He has tried so hard. He has done so well. He meets my eyes as I sigh and struggle over our options. "I will fight it."

Fight we must. (Dear Admissions Committee, Please accept him.)

Posted at 05:47

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