Let's Stop HIV Together and Save Our Lives

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This post is made possible by support from the Let’s Stop HIV Together campaign. All opinions are my own.

Over 1 million people live with HIV, and in order to stop the spread, we must have hard, honest conversations. So I'm supremely thankful for the women who choose to share their stories in the hopes that they might prevent another sister from suffering the same fate.

Women like Masonia and Michelle inspire me. They did not succumb to stigma and shame.

They are two women and mothers living with HIV. Though they contracted the disease under differing circumstances, they are connected by how they must navigate their journeys.

Masonia did things "the right way," but she contracted the virus from her partner with whom she was in a committed relationship. She discovered she was positive while pregnant though her daughter was not born with the virus.

Watch Masonia's story:

Michelle contracted the disease from an abusive boyfriend. She was able to escape the abuse while pregnant, but her daughter was born HIV positive.

Watch Michelle's story

Seeing the women live fearlessly reminds us that HIV is no longer a death sentence. It does not have to kill hope or ambition.

Learn how the disease is transmitted, and get tested.

About 50,000 people get infected with HIV each year, but 16% of new cases do not know they are infected. Education is key, and I am so grateful for initiatives like the CDC's national campaign, Let's Stop HIV Together. Treatment saves lives.

To get more information about HIV, visit the Center Disease Control and Prevention. As a community, we can come together and stop HIV.

Kimberly Foster is the founder and editor of For Harriet. Email or

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