Birthing While Black And HIV-Positive


Birthing While Black And HIV-Positive

April 23, 2022

Birthing While Black And HIV-Positive

Our Birthing Person: Teddy Atim, Mary Harper Holly

Other Guests: Helen Zimba

Episode Description: This week, we’re examining the stigma against pregnant and birthing people living with HIV and centering the challenges and realities of healthy, joyful births even with a diagnosis. Host Kimberly Seals Allers follows the journeys of two HIV-positive mothers—Teddy, a mother of three living in rural Uganda, and Mary, a mother of one based in Fort Worth, Texas. Find out how both mamas overcame miseducation and judgment in their communities surrounding their HIV status and gave birth to HIV-negative children.


  • Teddy Atim is a mother of three living in Banda, a rural fishing village in the East African country of Uganda. Teddy was diagnosed with HIV while pregnant with her first child. She’s now a mother mentor at mothers2mothers. 
  • Mary Harper-Holly, 47, is a divorced mother of one living in Fort Worth, Texas. After giving birth while living with HIV, Mary serves her community as the Founding Director and CEO of Pay It 4-ward Projects, a community-based non-profit organization supporting the unhoused and indigent communities of Dallas and Tarrant Counties. 
  • Helen Zimba serves as the HIV Programs Manager at The Afiya Center. She’s also a Full Spectrum Doula at Southern Roots Doula Services, where she supports pregnant and birthing people who are living with HIV and their families. 

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Birthright is funded by the California Health Care Foundation and the Commonwealth Fund.

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