A Determined Life

MT is an enormously spirited woman. Her spiritedness has gotten her into trouble—big trouble. And it has also fueled her determination to deal with her troubles head on. I met MT during her initial prenatal visit with her fifth child. She told me unabashedly that she was HIV-positive and had a history of crack cocaine abuse and supporting her habit by selling sex for drugs. But with pride she went on to tell how she had kicked the cocaine habit and gotten her life together after finding out she was HIV-infected. She had gone to support groups, even learning how to tell her kids about her HIV status and support them in their reactions. Now she leads support groups.

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About Author: Nancy Miller

Nancy Miller is a midwife at the Women’s Health and Birthing Pavilion at Morris Heights in the Bronx, New York, an out-of-hospital birth center in an economically and socially vulnerable community. She has worked with HIV-positive women and taught about HIV/AIDS in New York, South Africa, Uganda, China and Trinidad.

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