March 1988 - 1999

March 1988

88 infants die from causes inexplicable in a single month. The situation is described as medical malpractice.

May 1989

Over 200 sick children in orphanages are sent to the pediatric ward of the Municipal Hospital Constanta, a particularly isolated area in the basement of the hospital is prepared quickly, "where no one except a few specialists come from the department of pediatrics, dressed like astronauts' and whose entrance was protected by a wall built to block the new looks from the street. The mortality rate is high and new cases are diagnosed fecare day. Because of long policy of treating these issues as state secrets, we can not know how many children are infected with HIV or how many have already died of AIDS at the present time. Estimates speak of 7,000 to 10,000 people living in the '80s. What is sure is that Romania was then and remains today the only country in the world with a greater number of children infected with HIV than adults.

February 1990

With the fall of Ceausescu in December 1989, the international media and NGOs can enter Romania and stories start appearing about the HIV epidemic in children. Many companies, officials from hospitals, foundations and volunteers receive a first insight into the torment of these children in Romania in general and children infected with HIV in particular. Romanians - including health officials - are starting to speak for the first time about these children and AIDS, but public discussions are still limited.


Connections are made through the hospital with many international NGOs and private donors to help address critical needs of the growing number of children, including basic drugs (as in a specific HIV drugs were not yet available), clothing, food, education and incentives for development, shelter for abandoned children in homes, terminal care, etc. Because of all these efforts was taught a valuable lesson: that AIDS is not dead, "at least not immediately and without hope."

1992 - 1994

Department of Paediatrics of Municipal Hospital operates a clinic that day in one room, taking care of hospitalized children suffering from AIDS. Treatment is available only for opportunistic infections and fatigue syndrome is treated only by proper nutrition but reduced medication. Many children suffering from AIDS live in the hospital simply because they are rejected by other state programs, and homes are full. Conditions in hospitals are terrible, because facilities were not properly maintained or renovated since 1970. Romanian authorities are beginning to recognize the increasingly more on the public that HIV / AIDS is a problem the whole society and it launched a national anti-AIDS program. It will take three years to establish regional centers with the support of WHO HIV.


AZT (zidovudine) is the first drug approved for AIDS in Romania - five years after it was available on the American market.


After what was presented at international medical meetings, Dr. Rodica aunt invites him Dr. Mark Kline, professor, department of pediatric infectious diseases at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, to visit children in hospital where she worked as director of Constanta the department of pediatrics. Dr. Kline remembers, "At the time of my career, I thought I'd seen everything ... Even thought I knew everything there was to know about HIV in children, but I realized at that moment that this disease have a terrible impact on children in poor countries. I could not remove it from my mind.. " Dr. Kline has decided after this visit that changed his life to engage in care and treatment to help children with HIV / AIDS in Constanta. He initiated a program with colleagues at Baylor College of Medicine to train doctors and nurses in Constanta so provide the best care possible for their patients children.


Arrival of Dr. Kline and the Baylor team was beginning a new chapter in the lives of HIV infected children in Constanta. However, there still exist problems in the rest of the country. In 1998, the National Anti-AIDS slow progress in developing country strategies and recommendations, for example, has installed standard triple therapy, without it can provide continuously. Only about two hundred of the thousand children that are known as constant would suffer from HIV / AIDS have access to so-called protease inhibitor drugs.