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Jashine

It is Jashine's habit to hold her hand under her very round tummy and gaze downward whenever she isn't talking. Not really shy and not really forthcoming, it is apparent that she has a lot to balance in her young life. She is happy to be having her second baby. She beams with joy as she talks about this next child - due any day.

Her little boy, at one and a half, is a torrent of activity - really a happy kid with a drooly face and big round brown eyes full of mischief. He was born before his mom's exposure to HIV.

Jashine knows that she is HIV+ and that she might pass the virus on to her little girl when she is born. As surprised as Jashine was when she tested positive, she knew that there had been risk. She had been a crack cocaine user, and once, made the decision to let some friends shoot her up with heroin.

Just one time. Only once.


Jashine has an interesting perspective - a mix of young ideals and maternal gambling, she is confident that her baby will fall into the percentage of kids who, through whatever miracle, make it from conception to birth without exposure. And her belief is as solid as her contentment. She is indulgent of my concerns, but it is clear that her focus is on her healthy unborn baby!

So, at 22, Jashine is typical of many girls who find themselves pregnant and have the highest hopes for a bright future. If the cards are stacked against her, she is resilient. She has a new husband. He is very protective of her and this new baby they are expecting. He seems to love her son enough. She feels healthy.

She smiles and says, "God takes care of things!" Her hand slips under her tummy and she calls her little boy to her side.


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