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HIV/AIDS Blog Central

Melissa Baker: HIV-Positive Mother of Four

By Robert Breining

July 24, 2011

Melissa Baker

Have you ever wondered how to tell your child/children that you are HIV+ or living with HIV/AIDS? or How an HIV-positive woman can have an HIV-negative child?

Melissa Baker learned that she was HIV positive in August 2007, three days before her 28th birthday. Her diagnosis was a surprise, since she had tested negative for HIV only the year before while in what she thought to be a monogamous relationship. Melissa quickly realized that life does not stop with HIV and educated herself, her three teen daughters and the rest of her family and friends about the disease.

Melissa Baker and Robert Breining

Thanks to early diagnosis, she is healthy today. She recently had a baby girl a year ago -- her fourth daughter -- who is HIV negative. She works as a oncology receptionist. She has chosen to speak out about her HIV status in order to dispel stigma and encourage other women to protect themselves and get tested for HIV. Melissa has volunteered on a committee with her state health department and enjoys working with incarcerated women on another volunteer project to help empower and educate. She has been featured in HIV Positive! magazine and the Southern AIDS Living Quilt video project.

Listen to Melissa's Interview Live or as an archive.

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See Also
More Personal Accounts of Women With HIV/AIDS

Reader Comments:

Comment by: lisa (washingto) Sat., Dec. 10, 2011 at 2:33 pm EST
I wonder if these people who contracted hiv, would they have ever volunteered their time to this cause like they do after contracting hiv??? And alot of the readings that ive read say I'm a better person now that they contracted hiv. What kind of person were they before the virus???
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Comment by: Melissa Baker (Mechanicsville,VA) Fri., Jan. 27, 2012 at 10:04 pm EST
First off, I am too blessed to be stressed but I will respond to the last comment.I lost an uncle with AIDS when I was a teen who would have rather died alone than disclose to our family &combat stigma.I watched my best girlfriend loose her uncle the same year who passed with an AIDS related death from a blood transfusion during knee surgery & her family sew a patch for the quilt in his memory.I delivered magazines as a candy striper on a unit quarantined with those dying of AIDS. Prior to my own diagnosis I was daughter, grand-daughter, niece, sister, friend, mother, provider, carpooler to girl scouts, basketball, dance, & horseback riding. Now I add advocate to that list. I LIVE for myself and those that passed that did not have what I have had the past 5 years.


Comment by: Ophelia (alabama) Sat., Sep. 10, 2011 at 8:28 pm EDT
Wow her story is just like mine ! All though i have no had any children yet and guess i never will . :( But Funny how just one thing can change your life forever
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Comment by: robin y. (shreveport la 71101) Sun., Aug. 21, 2011 at 1:20 pm EDT
HI,MY NAME IS MS. ROBIN PFRENAE YOUNG
MY HART GOES OUT TO EVERYONE WITH AIDS OR HIV.YOU
GUYS ARE SO BRAVE AND LOVED.YOU I GOES FOR CHECKUPS'
BECAUSE MY BIG FEAR WOULD BE MY FAMILY. THEIR NOT
THE UNDERSTANDING KIND EVER,BUT I'M PROUD OF YOU ALL.NO I DON'T HAVE IT BUT MY HART STILL GOES TO YOU ALL I DON'T KNOW IF IT'S MUCH BUT IT'S WHATS IN MY HART GOD BLESS YOU ALL!!! HUGS AND KISSES.
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Comment by: John (Seattle) Tue., Aug. 16, 2011 at 2:59 am EDT
I'm an HIV positive man. Thanks for your blog and this site in general. It has helped me a great deal. This article caught my attention as my wife and I are in the process of trying to figure out how we might have a child. Curious to know if IVF was used for Melissa's recent pregnancy?
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Comment by: Robert Breining Thu., Aug. 18, 2011 at 1:05 pm EDT
Hey John... If you are on POZIAM or FB you can Friend her there. She is very open to conversations. Search her name if you have issues finding her let me know.
Comment by: Melissa Baker (Mechanicsville,VA) Thu., Aug. 18, 2011 at 5:37 pm EDT
I did not use IVF, but as Robert said I am open and I would be happy to discuss with you further.


Comment by: Amber (Mission, Canada) Thu., Aug. 4, 2011 at 2:59 pm EDT
yes, it is great to see other young mothers grasping their diagnosis in such a positive manner, I myself have a one year old baby girl who is hiv negative and an almost 3 year old son who is also hiv negative. I have been positive for 11 years now.. at first my fears almost overwhelmed me... but i got proper pre counselling with a hiv clinic that specializes in womens care, my partner is also negative... weve been together coming onto 7 years now... living with hiv is no longer a death sentence, but rather has given me personally a new lease on life and i now have a profound amount of gratitude for each day that i wake up! We need more women to stand up and say to others that we CAN have babies safely.... and i can tell you with a great amount of appreciation that i love my children and i am sooooo greatful that i get to watch every move they make, when 10 years ago this was not possible.. research is our friend not our enemy... cheers from a canadian mother of 2.
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Comment by: Melissa (Mechanicsville,VA) Thu., Aug. 18, 2011 at 5:35 pm EDT
I enjoyed your comment immensely!


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The Positive Pitch


I describe myself as a "positive person with purpose." My goal is to help people living with HIV/AIDS discover similarities in each other ... and form friendships. I want to ease the shock of a diagnosis and remind people that our dreams are not infected. I am also an HIV/AIDS cyber-activist, radio show host, blogger and social network guru.

For my full bio, click here.


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