A Message From Dr. Zandraetta Tims-Cook, Founder
An HIV diagnosis can be a life-altering event, and the stigma and fear of it can lead to overwhelming shame and a multitude of questions that are germane to women as mothers, daughters, sisters or wives. The Heather Ivy Society was created as a welcoming space for women to connect and share their experiences with other women and professionals as well as gain support and guidance in women-specific HIV matters. The name Heather Ivy was created by a patient as a means to discretely discuss her HIV experience in public with family and friends. I adopted this name for the support network because this is the discrete camaraderie that I endeavor to offer to any and all women affected by HIV.
Through the Heather Ivy Society, I hope that you will find that your journey is shared by countless women, who continue to live healthy, prosperous, dynamic and sensual lives. You may be worried about the effects of your new medicines on your physical appearance or whether you can ever have more children. Perhaps you are troubled by what you believe your children will think of your HIV diagnosis or apprehensive to reveal your HIV-positive status to the new man or partner in your life. The online support of the Heather Ivy Society and its members will hopefully allow you to interface with other women who share your journey and deliver to you insightful answers to your questions. Through the online network, you can ask questions and create discussions; read testimonials and access articles written by professionals that provide you with the information and encouragement essential to living a full and abundant life. You will, also, find a schedule of in-person events through which to further network and gain more information regarding HIV.
ABOUT Dr. Zandraetta Tims-Cook, MD, MPH
Dr. Tims Cook is a board-certified infectious diseases specialist in Atlanta, GA. She grew interested in the health concerns of women while studying public health in New York, NY. She became especially concerned about the growing numbers of HIV infections among African-American women in the early 2000s, particularly in the South, and decided on a career in medicine in the field of infectious diseases. She maintains an interest in the health concerns of women with a particular focus on HIV health disparities. She has published research with the HIV Prevention Trials Network (HPTN) and is active throughout the nation in HIV education.
Dr. Tims Cook is an Associate Professor of Medicine at Emory University School of Medicine. She is the proud mother of two daughters, who share her love of learning and music. They are also members of the Cascade United Methodist Church in Atlanta, GA.