Life doesn´t stop with HIV. Elda Malpera, of Brooklyn, NY is in recovery from substance abuse and has turned her life around. I first photographed her in 2009 - she had been released from prison nine months prior, and since then had been a client of the Women´s Transitional Housing program (WTH) of the non–profit organization Housing Works. WTH helps women get back on their feet by providing housing, counseling, job training and a host of other educational opportunities and health care services.
Malpera was diagnosed with HIV in 2001. Her daughter Rachel and fiancé Anthony, her partner since 1998, are both HIV negative. She has completely changed her life for the better, yet every day brings challenges. She works to complete her program with WTH, create new opportunities for a future career, care for herself and her family including her sick father, Sergio, 61 who is in the final stages of cirrhosis of the liver, the consequence of decades of alcoholism. Malpera is as committed to his care as she is to her goal of becoming a drug counselor for teens. She is fiercely determined to succeed, and hopeful about the new path she is forging for herself and her family.An excerpt of this story was published by The Indypendent in 2010:
Living Positively with HIV: A Photo Essay by Amelia H. Krales