top of page

Celebrating Black Women Who Live With HIV - SisterLove Joins Sheryl Lee Ralph Documentary

BWFN logo

"Unexpected" Heroes - Celebrating Black Women Who Live With HIV

Black Americans represent almost 13 percent of the U.S. population, yet we accounted for 42.1 percent of HIV infection cases in 2019, according to the CDC HIV Surveillance Report.

This is a staggering statistic, and it's one of the reasons why we are so passionate about our mission. It's also why we've joined an upcoming documentary on Black women who live with HIV.

Emmy-winning actress Sheryl Lee Ralph recently team with us to produce "Unexpected," a deeply moving documentary short.

Emmy-Winner Sheryl Lee Ralph holding an Emmy award statue
Emmy-Winner Sheryl Lee Ralph

This film will shine a light on the lives of women of color living with HIV in the South, a topic that is close to our hearts and central to our mission.

"Unexpected" will feature the inspiring stories of Masonia Traylor and Cici Covin, two remarkable women who are not only living with HIV but are also members of SisterLove's Leading Women's Society.

CiCi Covan smiling
CiCi Covan

Masonia Traylor
Masonia Traylor

The Leading Women's Society is a sisterhood of women who have lived with HIV for 20 years or more. They're not just survivors; they're advocates, community leaders, and change agents. They're confronting HIV stigma, expanding access to PrEP, testing, and treatment, and educating the public about sexual health.

Person at microphone at SisterLove's Annual Leading Women's Society Awards
SisterLove's Annual Leading Women's Society Awards

In the documentary, you'll see Masonia and Cici in action as they create care packages for pregnant women newly diagnosed with HIV. They're extending a hand of friendship and support, inviting these women into a safe network of support and services.

It's a beautiful demonstration of their resilience and their commitment to helping others in similar situations.

Sheryl Lee Ralph, who is well-known for her activism in this space and her foundation, The D.I.V.A Foundation, is honored to be a part of this project. She's keen to amplify Masonia and Cici’s story and put a spotlight on HIV in the South.

Zeberiah Newman, the director of the film, is equally thrilled to have Sheryl on board, recognizing her legendary work as an activist.

Zeberiah Newman (L) with Dázon Dixon Diallo (center)
Zeberiah Newman (L) with Dázon Dixon Diallo (center)

We at SisterLove, Inc. are over the moon to be part of this project and can't wait to see the impact it will have on raising awareness about HIV, especially among women of color in the South.

The film is currently in post-production and is aiming for a film festival run in early 2023.

We'll keep you posted on the progress!


If you'd like to empower Black women who live with HIV, then consider becoming a monthly supporter. For as little as $10 a month, you can help us support the incredible HIV Heroes of the Leading Women's Society. Become a Supporter Today

bottom of page