Unknown FatherHe was the third 20 year old in as many weeks to sit in my office and share his story of how he tested HIV positive recently.

We talked about a lot of things during the hour, but when I asked about his family I noticed his eyes went to floor. Tell me about your father. “I’ve never known him, never even met him. He lives somewhere in Georgia.”

His eyes were misty as I asked him what that was like for him.

He shrugged his shoulders, “I don’t know, I don’t anything different,” he mumbled.

We talked about a lot of things and then he just stopped and said clearly, “I’m really depressed. I’m having a hard time. I need help.” He showed me where he had cut his wrists in the past.

I introduced him to resources we have in the clinic to help with depression. We made appointments with a mental health counselor, a psychiatrist, and a weekly group for persons with substance use problems. And of course, an appointment was made with his medical team for his HIV care.

But tonight, I still think about his eyes.