Vanessa Mills regularly drives her black Jeep to places in Miami not hospitable to a lone woman, or a lone man, for that matter: a trash-pocked lot on NW 17th Avenue, a dilapidated wood-frame house on 81st Street, a garage behind a mostly vacant strip center. Mills will park and walk down an alley or behind an abandoned cargo container, to where she expects to find a girl she knows. More often than not the girl will be where Mills encountered her the week before, head bobbing and mouth twitching a little from the crack, waiting in the company of four or five other people, all of whom Mills knows by street name. This is another day at the office for Mills, a skinny, intense woman with braided hair, lopsided smile, and mournful eyes. Another day to fortify herself with the hard lessons she learned years ago as she was hauling herself out of these very places. Mills understands it won't work to try to change the people she encounters here. But now she can be an ally who, when the time is right, can lend a hand, prod this young black woman to face the truth -- that she's not just courting her own premature death, but helping AIDS... More >>>