Dr. Mark W. Kline

Rather would say that Romania found me on it than me. A decisive meeting with several Romanian parliament in autumn 1995 led to a trip to Romania in February 1996. At a time in my career when I thought I knew everything there was to know about HIV /AIDS, we have witnessed the unfolding of a tragedy and magnitude of a disease as I do not ever imagined. From that moment I knew that my life will never be the same.

With a modest home, a children's center was eventually built and opened in Constanta in 2001. Over 400 Romanian children have started highly active antiretroviral therapy, at the time was probably the largest number of children afati under treatment for HIV /AIDS in any center in the world. On Christmas Eve in 2001, I wrote the following from a computer at the Center for Romanian-American Children:

" is very cold and cloudy outside, with about 30 cm snow on the ground. But the season can not overshadow the hope that came on HIV-infected children in Constanta and their families. Day after day they come in groups at the clinic, not gloomy verdicts, but good news, wonderful news - in addition to one kilogram, healing sores, increased number of T lymphocytes with the prospect that they will follow more anniversaries, and other Christmases. And mothers are tears of joy, not sadness. To be here at the moment is a true blessing, and one of the most wonderful gift possible."

I described that experience as that find a addictive. By 2003, that dependence has led to the construction of a new center for children in Botswana. Followed Lesotho, Swaziland and Malawi. Hundreds of children infected with HIV in care and treatment afati became thousands, thousands became tens of thousands. Today, more than 80 000 children in care AFA HIV /AIDS in our entire network of centers.

next phase in the existence of what became known as the Baylor International Pediatric AIDS Initiative (BIPAI) will be setting up a center for global health of children in the Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children's Hospital, which will fight against the main enemy death of children around the world - malaria, tuberculosis, diarrheal disease and malnutrition - and serious illness, long neglected and life threatening in children in developing states, including cancer and sickle cell anemia. What I learned in the last ten years of treatment progress for children with HIV /AIDS will provide a model for all these new programs.

my personal journey through the world HIV /AIDS in Romania and Africa was as unexpected as it was unplanned. I witnessed not only the unspeakable suffering, but also the human spirit and body resistance. I saw many unnecessary deaths, but the revival of entire families and communities, saving lives due to the emergence of treatment. As a specialist in pediatric infectious diseases, consider HIV /AIDS the greatest challenge of my generation. Professional privilege has been my whole life to have the chance to contribute even in a small way to mitigating this disaster epidemic.

Dr.  Mark W. Kline

Professor and Head of Department, Department of Pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine

Chief Physician, Texas Children's Hospital

President, Baylor International Pediatric AIDS Initiative