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Children forced to wear Red badges to denote their HIV positive status
“AIDS is a war against humanity. We need to break the silence, banish the stigma and discrimination and ensure total inclusiveness within the struggle against AIDS. If we discard the people living with HIV/AIDS, we can no longer call ourselves human.”
The worst symptom of AIDS remains stigma
In Tanzania, many primary school students are forced to wear red badges sewn on their uniform denoting their HIV positive status.
When children are asked why they wear the badges, they reply, “it is because I am sick”. When asked what their sickness is, they say “I do not know”. AIDS is not in their vocabulary.
When the same question is posed to the heads of their schools, they say it’s a way for teachers to identify those children who are too weak to engage in physical activity.
They are motivated by the best intentions, but do not understand the profound consequences of ‘branding’ the children.
At the Elton John AIDS Foundation we believe that AIDS can be beaten – by stopping new HIV infections, preventing AIDS deaths and wiping out discrimination against people living with or very vulnerable to HIV disease.
This means fighting stigma. The biggest weapon we have to fight this stigma is in all of us: compassion.
Through donations, we are asking you to support our work in removing the stigma of HIV from young children’s lives.
Your compassion today can help create an AIDS free tomorrow.
£25 can help us free a child from the stigma of an HIV 'brand' and give them back their dignity.
Your donation will be acknowledged on the register below.