On "Our America with Lisa Ling," Lisa Ling explores the social and economic forces driving the disproportionately high rate of HIV infection in black America. Among those she interviewed was Sonny, a 41-year-old heterosexual HIV-positive man.
Sonny was infected through IV drug use during an addiction to heroin and crack that lasted more than a decade. From age 18 to 35, he never spent more than two consecutive years out of jail. But like many HIV positive inmates, Sonny contracted the disease before incarceration and only discovered his diagnosis upon being locked up.
His wife, Christina, shared his addiction. Despite the risks, they had unprotected sex and two unplanned pregnancies.
"I knew that he was positive and I didn't care," Christina says. "It was just about that fix, nothing else mattered."
The chances are perhaps one in a million, but miraculously, neither Christina nor her children contracted HIV. Now, Christina tells Ling she is extremely lucky to be alive and has a new sense of responsibility.
"I want to be able to be present for my kids," Christina says. "If I contract the virus, all right I contract it. But what about everybody else that needs me? What's going to happen to my kids if Mommy's not around?"
Today, the couple has been clean for six years. Sonny, who is on HIV medication, runs a rehabilitation program for recovering addicts and formerly incarcerated men like himself. He says he and his wife only have protected sex now.