the RED badges of courage 002

A group of young students at the Kizuiani Primary School peer out of the barred classroom window. They are isolated from other students during their school break because of their HIV positive status. All wear the RED badge insignia sewn on their school uniforms alerting their teachers that they should be excused from physical activity that may exacerbate their health. Other students tease the children that they cannot be participating in the games. Virtually all of these children have no knowledge that they are HIV positive. They are led to believe it is because they are ‘sick’, suffering from malaria, fainting spells, TB, never AIDS. Stigma fuels ignorance which is one of the most damaging obstacles in the prevention of the pandemic. Kipati Town, Tanzania June 2010

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