I'm working in the hospital when there is a tap on my shoulder. I turn around and a shy seventeen year old in a blue polo shirt and khaki pants looks out from under his eyelashes and says a quiet "Bonjour Michelle."
Robert lost both of his parents when he was a baby, and I see him at the hospital once a month. He is a good student, having passed all his exams and close to graduating from high school. He comes here because he was born with HIV, passed to him from his mother who died of tuberculosis shortly after he was born.
He attends a club for other kids who are on HIV treatment, all thirty of them born with the illness. Several of them are close to graduating high school. Robert told me he would like to become a doctor. Other kids choose mechanics, teaching, and nursing as their future professions. But we all know that their aunts, uncles, and grandmothers don't have the money to send them for advanced college level education, let alone medical school. Nor are there good colleges in their town. Robert is smart and works hard, but I feel like I am lying to him when we talk about his future plans.
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