Ana's Story: a Journey of Hope

Dying or Living with HIV/AIDS? Book By: Jenna Bush


Ana is one of millions of people infected with HIV or AIDS. She was brought up to believe her disease must be kept a secret, that if she told anyone, she would be ignored and shut out. This is one of Ana's many secrets. Ana grows up struggling to protect herself and her sister. As she moves from home to home, she searches for a promising future.

Ana's Life

Ana never received the care and love that she needed in her childhood. Both of her parents died when she was very young, so she lived with her grandmother for most of her childhood. Her grandmother and grandfather both physically abused Ana. Later, when Ana moved in with her aunt, Sonia, she was neglected and physically abused again. Her teacher started to worry about Ana when he saw her bruises. She was then relocated to a juvenile detention center. However, because Ana was mixed in with kids that had committed crimes, she was not very happy there. She had only two friends, Berto and Pilar, until the day when Berto didn't show up for lunch. A few days later, Ana was relocated to a house for people with HIV/AIDS, where she reunited with Berto. Eventually, Ana moved out of the group home in order to live with her other aunt, Aida. Aunt Aida was very nice and welcomed Ana into her house and family. Finally, Ana had found a home where she could be happy.

Ana's Future

Ana made many good choices in her life, such as not becoming the abusive role models she had and keeping her grades up. This ensured she had a wide variety of options for her future. Besides planning to adopt her younger sister once she turns eighteen, so that they can live together, Ana also has returned to school. Despite her illness and her extremely challenging upbringing, Ana's future is bright.


Things you can do to help:

  • Learn more about AIDS and abuse
  • Volunteer and see if there is any local projects
  • Write to a pen pal
  • Provide support and counseling