Mitchell Besser: Mothers Helping Mothers Fight HIV| 22mins
Director: TED | Producer: TED
Focus Years: 2010 | Country: United States
In sub-Saharan Africa, HIV infections are more prevalent and doctors scarcer than anywhere else in the world. With a lack of medical professionals, Mitchell Besser enlisted the help of his patients to create Mothers2Mothers - an extraordinary network of HIV-positive women whose support for each other is changing and saving lives. Mothers2mothers employs HIV-positive moms themselves to complement the work of doctors and nurses. After a two-month training, mentor mothers work with other moms with HIV to help them understand how to keep from transmitting HIV to their babies. Equally important, the members of Mothers2Mothers connect at an emotional level with other moms, offering the support of true peers, helping to reduce the social stigma around HIV diagnosis, and helping each mom stick to her own treatment regiment so she can watch her baby grow. From its beginnings in 2001, Mothers2Mothers now operates in 600 clinics in seven countries; 1,600 mentor mothers "touch" an estimated 200,000 patients a month - accounting for 20 percent of the HIV-positive patients in Africa.