the RED badges of courage 001

Amina had been forced wearing a RED badge sewn on her school uniform veil since she started school age 5 identifying her as AIDS/HIV positive. Jealously she gazes out a barred classroom window watching her schoolmates play. Amina is excluded due to her HIV positive status; because the school fears she would exacerbate her condition with excessive physical exercise. This saddens her deeply. She is now 13 years old, a recent AIDS orphan who lives with her aging grandmother. Amina has been on the life saving anti-retroviral drugs for years and is despondent that she rarely feels well and suffers from an acute skin disorder. Mostly she hates wearing the red badge as it isolates her from the other children. Like most of the children wearing the Red Badges, she has no knowledge of the virus, nor why she takes the drugs. AIDS education is not taught in most schools in Tanzania. Temeke, Tanzania June 2010

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