Women talking about being HIV-positive
Two young women born with HIV make a video about the advances in treatment, having babies and where they are today.
From: Connected Health Solutions, Inc.
While recent advances in the treatment of HIV have opened up new possibilities for families, stereotypes and misconceptions still abound.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, an HIV positive mother who is not being treated for her HIV during pregnancy, labor, or delivery has a 25% chance (1 in 4) of passing the virus to her baby. However, women with HIV who take antiretroviral medication during pregnancy as recommended can reduce the risk of transmitting HIV to their babies to less than 1% .
In this new adolescent-made public service announcement, two women with HIV discuss their feelings towards the mothers who transmitted the virus to them and how advancements in treatment changes their future fantasies.
"I wish I could have been one of those babies...[but] I'm going to be the best mom in the world." says one young woman. "For so long I had hateful feelings towards her...my destiny was chosen for me" says the other, but by the end of the film she expresses that "as a positive female, knowing that if I have a kid, that they're not going to be positive gives me hope."
These women also explore the stigma of being an HIV+ woman. "With the dating, comes the disclosure, comes the fear of rejection," says one of the women. The other woman mirrors these fears, "I feel like I won't have a future as far as finding love, starting a family." They both wanted to make this video as part of a competition held by "Youth, the Arts, HIV&AIDS Network" (YAHAnet), which instructed the adolescent contestants to create a "webisode" that addressed HIV and gender stereotypes.
"I am HIV positive. I'm healthy, I'm living, and I'm still going; If you are positive, stay positive," says one of the women who decided to show her face on camera. Though the other was inspired by her friend's bravery, she remained anonymous but took the next step of sharing her voice. The film can be seen below.
YAHAnet recently announced that the film was the winner of the 19-24 year old category.
About: Connected Health Solutions, Inc. is a consultancy for nonprofits, service organizations, and educational institutions. Their premier product, MyMediaLife, is series of group-level workshops that engage with at-risk target populations to explore and problem-solve social issues and find their voice through digital media. The resulting campaigns are highly polished public-service announcements that attempt to inform and change behaviors, norms, and attitudes.