Verses: A Family in Odesa, Ukraine Verses is the story of a family in Odesa, Ukraine. Sasha, Ira, and their daughter Masha are the lead characters in my ongoing documentation. This is not a story of quick change or fast healing. The story progresses slowly, yet captures moments of family life and dynamics that cover a variety of situations and emotions. Sasha and Ira were both diagnosed HIV-positive in the late 1990s. Several days after I met them in 2001, Ira gave birth to her sixth child Masha. A year later they were informed of Masha’s HIV-positive status. Ira has had 3 more children since Masha’s birth. Currently 11 children (including 3 grandchildren) live with them in their small home. The children range in age from 1 to 24 years old. Masha, who turned 15 years old in August 2016, is their only child who is HIV-positive. Watching her grow is not only a testament to her personal strength, but also a way to observe the program that gives her free antiretroviral (ARV) therapy, which keeps her healthy and alive. In Sasha’s case, it has become obvious over the past several years that his immune system has been damaged for he easily contracts various infections. At the moment, he is ruthlessly addicted to illegal intravenous drugs. The story long ago expanded into a narrative that examines family more than it documents illness. HIV infection was a death sentence not long ago, particularly in emerging economies like Ukraine. That has changed. For those who receive antiretroviral therapy life goes on almost normally. Despite stepped up efforts to fight the disease, Ukraine has one of the fastest growing HIV infection rates in the world and the worst infection rate in Europe. UNAIDS estimates that approximately 350,000 Ukrainians are living with HIV/AIDS and that there have been about 24,000 deaths.