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The blog


mothers2mothers empowering women living with HIV: Monica’s story

mothers2mothers Kenya


mothers2mothers empowering women living with HIV in Kenya


“The m2m program has restored my hope. Before, I felt that life had no meaning.  Now, I feel as though I can enjoy life with my daughters again.”


mothers2mothers tackles the issue of mother-to-child transmission of HIV by training and employing HIV-positive mothers to work with local healthcare teams and provide training and support to pregnant women and young mothers who are also living with the virus. Here is the story of Monica, who began rebuilding her life after being diagnosed with HIV thanks to m2m.


I found out that I was HIV+ in July of 2008.  I felt hopeless. I felt like I couldn’t tell anyone as the results were just thrown at me without any counselling. Later, after visiting mothers2mothers (m2m) at a health facility, I was finally able to disclose my status to my sister and a friend. I now get the most support from my sister and friends, as well as from the m2m Mentor Mothers and staff at the facility.


I can’t explain how hopeless I felt when I was first diagnosed though. I just felt…useless, separated from other human beings, until I had a mild stroke and landed in the facility, where I met a Mentor Mother and everything changed.  I thank God for that.  I felt that I was healing both physically and mentally from the first day I started sharing my experiences with the m2m team. I now feel healthy, I’ve regained hope and I am restoring hope among others – long live the m2m program!


Has m2m changed the way other people treat you?


Yes, because I am now able to walk boldly.


The m2m program has restored my hope. Before, I had no income, and, since men have all the decision-making power in my culture, I felt that life had no meaning.  Now, I feel as though I can enjoy life with my daughters again. My health has drastically improved (My CD4 count was initially below 280, but now it’s above 318) and I am going to reopen my embroidery business.


What I enjoy most about my role at m2m is that a woman will come to me crying but will leave smiling.


In my country, men do not agree to be tested, so HIV-positive men continue to have unsafe sex with multiple partners. They don’t use condoms with their lovers or their wives. The role of women in eradicating HIV is therefore key, because they adhere so well to the information they acquire and are ready and willing to do what it takes to protect their families.  


Learn more about how mothers2mothers is helping HIV-positive mothers find the support and information they need to live positive lives and ensure their children are healthy here.

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Meet the editor-in-chief

Andrea Ashworth

Andrea is an author, journalist and academic. She has studied, taught or held fellowships at Oxford, Yale and Princeton. Andrea has written fiction and non-fiction for numerous publications, including Vogue, Granta, The Times, The TLS and The Guardian. She is the author of the award-winning and internationally bestselling memoir "Once in a House on Fire". Andrea works to raise awareness about domestic violence and to promote literacy and education.