TANZANIA: Anger over red ribbon labels for HIV pupils

Summary: Campaigners in Tanzania have criticised some schools for making HIV-positive pupils wear a red ribbon on their uniforms.

The headmaster of one school told the BBC it was done at the parents' request to ensure that all sickly pupils do not do tasks that may affect their health.

But such stigmatisation was against the law, punishable by up to three years in jail, a campaign group warned.

The health minister has said he cannot comment until it is investigated.

According to UNAids, about 5% of the population - 1.4m people - in the East African nation are living with HIV.

'Confidential'

The BBC's Aboubakar Famau in the main city of Dar es Salaam says activists have reacted with horror to the labelling of pupils in the Kibaha district.

They believe at least seven schools in the area, about 40km (25 miles) north-west of Dar es Salaam, are using the ribbon system.

"They are only doing that because they want to identify those who are HIV-positive," said Jane Tibihita, a co-ordinator of Upendo Partnership, a local campaign group.

 

 

pdf: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-17380941

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