In 2004, after becoming pregnant with her daughter, Faith, Tatu Msangi faced a fear that no new mother should be forced to confront: whether or not her daughter would be born with HIV.
Tatu first learned that she was living with HIV during a routine antenatal visit to a clinic near her home in Moshi, Tanzania.
“I was shocked to learn I was HIV-positive and I felt scared for my health and the health of my baby. But the counselors at the clinic gave me hope,” said Tatu.
Thanks to the health counselors at the Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Center (KCMC) and the work of the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, Tatu was able to access the medicines and care she needed to help ensure that she wouldn’t pass the virus to her baby, both during pregnancy and in the crucial weeks and months following the birth.
As a result, today Faith is a happy, healthy young girl. And she is HIV-free.
“My story is not just the story of a woman who received prevention of mother-to-child transmission services. I am also a woman who is helping shape how my country fights this terrible disease now and for years to come,” said Tatu.
Several years ago, Tatu began working at KCMC–the same hospital where she received care — counseling other HIV-positive pregnant women and mothers.
“I remember fighting so hard to keep my daughter healthy and HIV-free when I first learned my own status,” said Tatu. “I can see how scared many of the women are when they first arrive at my clinic. I hold their hands and share my own story with them to give them hope. Faith and I are living proof that PMTCT works.
I encourage all my patients to take their medications so that they can stay healthy and that their babies will be HIV-free!”
Tatu earned her nursing degree in 2012 and continues to work as a nurse and peer counselor at KCMC in Moshi, Tanzania. In her role as an EGPAF Ambassador, Tatu has joined world leaders such as U.S. President George W. Bush, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, and former U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator Ambassador Eric P. Goosby to share her story and encourage others to join the fight for an AIDS-free generation.
Profile last updated: February 2016