Journal of Medical Humanities

, Volume 34, Issue 2, pp 285–287 | Cite as

“Wednesday HIV Clinic”

  • Rafael CampoEmail author

I. Adverse Reaction

“Pray for me,” she asks, her head covered in

a polyester scarf. She doesn’t hide

herself for shame; she’s lost her hair. We think

it was the AZT. She says that through

the walls of all her suffering, she thinks

she hears God’s distant voice when her young son

reads from his new storybook. She’s so proud

he’s learning English. “Pray for him,” she asks

before she leaves, “that he may have enough

to bury me in a fine new white dress!”

II. Failure to Thrive

He weighs less than ninety pounds. Years ago,

he was a bodybuilder. Muscular

and tanned, he looks like someone else back then,

the photograph he shows me faded now.

“You know, even my cock has shriveled up,”

he says. “No one would want to fuck me now.”

He undresses very slowly; I count

his ribs while he fumbles with the blue gown.

When I touch him, he avoids my eyes, stares

up at the blank ceiling instead, and cries.

III. Leukopenia

I see him sometimes when I’m walking home.

He holds his children’s hands, refuses to



Tuberculosis Cardiomyopathy Leukopenia Resistance Mutation Advance Directive 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Harvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA

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