On Saturday I attended an event held in Los Angeles to support the work of mothers2mothers. I gave the following little speech to give some context to the work that m2m does if you’re interested in reading it…
‘As a long time HIV activist and advocate, I’d just like to take a few minutes of your time to give you a little bit of background about the HIV epidemic in Africa
and why the work of m2m is so vital.
If you don’t have children yet, at one point in your life it’s quite likely that you will, and when that happens your entire life will change.
All of a sudden you’ll become the loving provider for a child that you would do absolutely anything to protect and nurture.
Mothers and fathers know this feeling very well. It’s fundamental to our human nature.
So if you have a pregnancy test and are told that you’re pregnant and ALSO HIV positive, it feels as if your whole world has come crashing down.
You want to live to bring your baby up, and more than anything, you want your baby to be healthy and free of the virus.
If you live in the United States, with access to medical intervention, you have a 99% chance that this will be the case.
But in most parts of Africa, women have no access to knowledge, medical care or sexual and reproductive health services.
An HIV positive mother without care has an almost 50% chance of infecting her baby, and half of all babies born HIV positive will die before their second birthday.
As a mother myself, I am passionate about fundamental human rights for women and girls to access to these kinds of services.
Mothers should not die because they are HIV positive, and their babies should be born free of the virus, so they can have a healthy start to life.
Mothers 2 mothers creates this opportunity. They have a first class track record…98% of babies born in mothers 2 mothers care are born HIV negative.
Their success with mothers in Africa is as good as the success rate in the the United States.
In countries like South Africa, where one in three pregnant women are HIV positive, and HIV/AIDS is the leading cause of death of women and girls of reproductive age,
you can only imagine how vital and significant m2m’s work is – and how it effectively impacts the lives of entire generations.
I’m so proud of m2m and can wholeheartedly vouch for the gold standard of their work and wholeheartedly appreciate everyone who supports the organisation’.