In many aspects, Octavia Lewis and Shawn Lopez are like most couples forging a life together. Introduced about four years ago by friends, the pair recently moved into a two-bedroom apartment in the Bronx, New York, where they’ve already started a family. Marriage is on the horizon.
In many other aspects, Octavia and Shawn are unique. They are helping raise two very young boys, Ethan and Messiah, who arrived from Children’s Village, which places vulnerable children in homes. What’s more, Octavia and Shawn are a serodiscordant couple—Octavia contracted HIV in 2006 from an unfaithful partner, and Shawn is HIV negative. They’re also transgender.