Frederic Noy/Panos Pictures

Kampala, Uganda

At the end of the Y+ beauty contest, Sherina, one of the female competitors, was delighted to come second for which she received a crown. The Y+ is a national competition with the message that people with HIV can also be beautiful, externally and internally. Participants compete for the titles of 'Miss' and 'Mister Y+'. The 'Y' stands for youth and + for HIV positive. Sherina says the achievement is enhanced when she remembers what she had to deal with because of her HIV status. ''When I was growing up, the family members did not want me to touch their babies, I saw that they thought: 'you're sick'. At school a maths teacher often said that he was 'too busy' to see my homework. He made me feel sick and stupid, but all I want is a normal life''.Â

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Frederic Noy/Panos Pictures
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