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Photographer: Carol Allen Storey
Title: the RED badges of courage
Location: Tanzania, United Republic of
  

Amina had been forced to wear 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 from participating due to her HIV positive status. The school fears she would exacerbate her condition with excessive physical exercise and they do not want to be responsible nor do they have medical supplies to treat her if she fell ill. This exclusion saddens Amina deeply. She is 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 which defies treatment. 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
2nd June 2010

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