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Raised in a devout Catholic Latino family, Maria grew up knowing that her role as a woman and mother would be challenging.

She raised two sons to adulthood and found herself unexpectedly pregnant at the age of thirty eight. Her decision to keep the baby was tough. She was HIV+ and knew that there would be a 1 in 3 chance that she could infect her baby.


Her intravenous heroin habit was under control, she was clean, and she felt that this miracle baby would help her to stay in recovery.

Like many women who live with HIV, Maria relies more on her faith in Jesus than on the health care system. Her health has not failed and for that she is grateful. She and her family improvise as she looks for affordable permanent housing.


And she waits. Her beautiful new daughter Bernadette continues to be healthy and remains HIV negative. This could change. Maria's own health is apparently quite good. This could change. She stays off drugs. This could change.

She hopes for the day when she won't live for the moment and can plan a future for herself and her miracle baby.

She wonders, too, if this can change.

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