What We Do
4M Network of Mentor Mothers CIC (4M) is a unique peer-led program led by Black migrant women. We train women living with HIV across the UK as Mentor Mothers to provide psycho-social support to peers in their pregnancy journey and beyond.
It is now entirely possible that, with the right care, respect and support, women living with HIV can have babies born HIV-free through normal vaginal delivery. As a result of our work, Mentor Mother peer support is now promoted as good practice in the British HIV Association National Pregnancy Guidelines.
At 4M, we are working to shift the narrative. Instead of a top-down, bio-medical focus on "elimination of Mother to Child Transmission" (eMTCT), we work to ensure our Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (eSRHR) throughout our lives.
We are an entirely peer-run organization of women living with HIV. Led by Black women from migrant and refugee backgrounds, our approach seeks to ensure that our voices and priorities are heard in all discussions about issues affecting women living with HIV pre, during and beyond the pregnancy journey.
In all our work, 4M considers the different needs and priorities of women living with HIV in all our diversity. All women living with HIV are welcomed, and all experiences are respected. Our approach is person-centered, holistic and collaborative, addressing the intersectional issues affecting our lives as women living with HIV.
Our work is led by, shaped by, and includes women living with HIV around the UK and internationally.
How We Do This
- We train women living with HIV as Mentor Mothers, using the 4M "My Pregnancy Journey" training program. We also train Mentor Mothers to be trainers.
- We support Mentor Mothers who are providing peer support to women living with HIV around the UK and internationally
- We work with clinicians to improve the pregnancy experience of women living with HIV
- We collaborate with researchers to build the evidence base on what women need to achieve our full sexual and reproductive health and rights
- We reach out to HIV organizations and organizations working on issues affecting women living with HIV perinatally
- We advocate for change, to improve the perinatal experiences and quality of life of women living with HIV. This also gives our babies the best start they can have in life.
- We develop the personal and professional capacity of Mentor Mothers through our training programs and by opportunities for involvement within the network
- We provide knowledge exchange through our webinar series
In all this, we provide an enabling environment for women who face multiple disadvantages to find their individual voice and be visible within a collective. This is important as HIV, despite all the scientific advances, continues to be highly stigmatized, disempowering individuals from participation or achieving their human rights. The women in our network are disproportionately affected and represent a diversity of identities. Many are from migrant backgrounds including the Caribbean, and East, Southern, and West African countries.
To be added to 4M’s private Facebook group for women living with HIV, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.