IMPACT

HIV-Positive Moms And HIV-Free Kids Show What AIDS-Free Generation Looks Like

17 countries may have eliminated mother-to-child transmission.

 

After losing three children to HIV in the ‘80s, Connie never thought she’d become a mother again.

But thanks to medical interventions and antiretroviral treatment, today the Zambian woman is raising Lubona, an HIV-free little girl.

Tuesday marks World AIDS Day, and one of the greatest achievements to date has been the decline in mother-to-child transmissions. According to the World Health Organization, 17 countries, including Cuba, Chile and the U.S., may have eliminated the transmission of AIDS from mother to child. 

To demonstrate what that milestone looks like, renowned photographer Rankin snapped images of HIV-positive mothers in Zambia posing with their HIV-negative children.

The series came together as a partnership through Bank of America and (RED), a group that’s working to fight AIDS and support people living with the virus. Bank of America has committed $10 million to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS to provide antiretroviral medication to women living with HIV in sub-Saharan Africa.

These are some of their stories.

  • Namweemba and Tigi
    Her story is a common one—Namweemba went in for a routine surgery, got a blood test and came out with an HIV diagnosis.
    Rankin
    Her story is a common one—Namweemba went in for a routine surgery, got a blood test and came out with an HIV diagnosis. Thankfully though, with the help of antiretroviral medication, also known as ARVs, her baby, Tigi, was born HIV–free.
  • Connie and Lubona
    Connie has been through more than one person ever should. Before she discovered she had HIV, Connie had three children. Unkno
    Rankin
    Connie has been through more than one person ever should. Before she discovered she had HIV, Connie had three children. Unknowingly, while pregnant, the virus passed from her to them and all three passed away. Despite this devastating loss, Connie has persevered, and with the help of ARVs, she has stayed healthy, counseled women just like her, and in 2012, gave birth to a beautiful HIV-€“free daughter, named Lubona.
  • Precious, Stanley and Geofry
    After being diagnosed with HIV, Precious took the necessary steps to stay healthy, ensuring that her children, Stanley, Geofr
    Rankin
    After being diagnosed with HIV, Precious took the necessary steps to stay healthy, ensuring that her children, Stanley, Geofry and Benson, would stay healthy as well--all three of her sons were born HIV-€“free.
  • Dailesi, Anthony and Ceasar
    As an HIV-€“positive mother of 9, Dailesi's life is anything but easy. Thankfully though, with free access to ARVs, Dailesi i
    Rankin
    As an HIV-€“positive mother of 9, Dailesi's life is anything but easy. Thankfully though, with free access to ARVs, Dailesi is now healthy enough to care for her large family and even gave birth to two HIV-€“free twin boys, Anthony and Ceasar.
  • Elina and Sunford
    n 2013, after being given an HIV test during a routine pregnancy checkup, Elina discovered she was HIV€-positive. Thankfully
    Rankin
    n 2013, after being given an HIV test during a routine pregnancy checkup, Elina discovered she was HIV€-positive. Thankfully though, thanks to free access to lifesaving treatment, her son Sunford was born HIV-€“free later that year.
  • Stella and Blessing
    Thanks to the help of ARVs, Stella, who is HIV–positive, gave birth to her healthy, HIV-free daughter, Blessing, in 2
    Rankin
    Thanks to the help of ARVs, Stella, who is HIV–positive, gave birth to her healthy, HIV-free daughter, Blessing, in 2007.
  • Giveness, Beauty and Fisher
    With free access to ARVs, Giveness, who is HIV-positive, was able to give birth to Beauty and Fisher, who are both HIV-€“free
    Rankin
    With free access to ARVs, Giveness, who is HIV-positive, was able to give birth to Beauty and Fisher, who are both HIV-€“free
  • Gertrude and Bernard
    Like many women in her community, Gertrude discovered she was HIV-€“positive during a routine pregnancy exam. Thankfully, aft
    Rankin
    Like many women in her community, Gertrude discovered she was HIV-€“positive during a routine pregnancy exam. Thankfully, after finding out her status, she started treatment and later gave birth to her HIV-free son, Bernard.
  • Anna, Mercy and Aron
    Anna had been feeling sick for some time and after hearing about others in her community who were diagnosed with HIV, she dec
    Rankin
    Anna had been feeling sick for some time and after hearing about others in her community who were diagnosed with HIV, she decided to get tested herself. In 2006, Anna learned of her HIV status and started lifesaving ARV treatment. Thanks to these daily pills, Anna is in good health and has stopped the transmission of the virus to her children, Mercy and Aron, who were born HIV-free.
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