THE BLOG
12/17/2012 04:00 pm ET Updated Feb 16, 2013

My Story -- Part 1: Coming to Terms With HIV Diagnosis

During this holiday season, mothers2mothers (m2m) -- an NGO that works to eliminate pediatric AIDS and keep HIV-positive mothers alive in sub-Saharan Africa -- shares the story of someone who is very special to them in three video blogs.

Nozi Samela has worked at m2m for the past seven years, first as a Mentor Mother, providing lifesaving information and support to pregnant women and new mothers just diagnosed with HIV on how to prevent transmitting the virus to their babies and keep themselves healthy. She was later promoted to Site Coordinator of Site B, one of the busiest m2m programs in all of sub-Saharan Africa, and then to Communications Associate in m2m's Cape Town headquarters, where she works now.

But Nozi's life didn't always seem so full of promise and possibility. She first came to mothers2mothers in 2004 when she was pregnant and newly diagnosed with HIV -- terrified and alone. The strength and grace with which Nozi came to terms with her HIV diagnosis and overcame unimaginable heartbreak in the years that followed has been an inspiration to many.

In the first blog, Nozi transports viewers to the township of Khayelitsha, outside Cape Town, and shares her story, from the devastation of being pregnant and learning she was HIV-positive to how she faced the death of her three-year-old son in a car accident -- and what restored her hope for the future.

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