Birthing While Black And HIV-Positive

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Season 2, Episode 5: Birthing While Black And HIV-Positive 

Episode Description: This week, we’re examining the stigma against pregnant and birthing people living with HIV and centering the challenges and realities of healthy, joyful births even with a diagnosis. Host Kimberly Seals Allers follows the journeys of two HIV-positive mothers—Teddy, a mother of three living in rural Uganda, and Mary, a mother of one based in Fort Worth, Texas. Find out how both mamas overcame miseducation and judgment in their communities surrounding their HIV status and gave birth to HIV-negative children.


  • Helen Zimba serves as the HIV Programs Manager at The Afiya Center. She’s also a Full Spectrum Doula at Southern Roots Doula Services, where she supports pregnant and birthing people who are living with HIV and their families. 
  • The Afiya Center is a Dallas-based reproductive organization responding to the prevalence of HIV among Black and girls in Texas.
  • Learn more about how mothers2mothers is using its Mentor Mother Model to employ local women living with HIV as Frontline Health Workers in sub-Saharan Africa by visiting www.m2m.org
  • For HIV/AIDS-related information, news, support and personal perspectives, check out www.TheBody.com; a platform supporting the needs and interests of people living with, affected by, and concerned about HIV.
  • Find out more about What Would an HIV Doula Do?; a community of artists, activists, academics, chaplains, doulas, healthcare professionals, and others who hold space for people who are living with HIV.
  • POZ is a magazine that serves people living with and those affected by HIV/AIDS with daily news, treatment information, personal profiles, and investigative features.
  • Interested in having a doula and/or midwife for your pregnancy, birth or post-partum period? Here are resources for finding Black midwives, doulas, lactation consultants, and other perinatal specialists of color: Sista Midwife Directory, The Bridge, and National Black Doulas Association.
  • Download Irth, the only app where you can find prenatal, birthing, postpartum and pediatric reviews of care from Black and brown birthing people. Leave a review today to help inform and protect others!
  • Learn more about having a safe and empowered birth by downloading the free ebook: Birth with Irth: A Mini-Manual to Pregnancy and Childbirth for Black People 
  • For Black breastfeeding resources, visit Black Breastfeeding Week, Black Mothers’ Breastfeeding Association (BMBFA), and Reaching Our Sisters Everywhere (ROSE).
  • Catch up on episode extras from season 1 and 2 on BIRTHRIGHT’S YOUTUBE PAGE!
  • Subscribe to be notified for new episode releases every Wednesday! Love Birthright? Leave a rating and review.
  • Get full episode details and transcripts on www.BirthrightPodcast.com 
  • Follow Kimberly Seals Allers on Twitter on Instagram: @iamKSealsAllers
  • Birthright is funded by the California Health Care Foundation and the Commonwealth Fund.

About Teddy & Mary

Teddy Atim is a mother of three living in Banda, a rural fishing village in the East African country of Uganda. Teddy was diagnosed with HIV while pregnant with her first child. She’s now a mother mentor at mothers2mothers. 

Mary Harper-Holly, 47, is a divorced mother of one living in Fort Worth, Texas. After giving birth while living with HIV, Mary serves her community as the Founding Director and CEO of Pay It 4-ward Projects, a community-based non-profit organization supporting the unhoused and indigent communities of Dallas and Tarrant Counties. 

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