A Girl from Uganda Fights HIV

A Girl from Uganda Fights HIV
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 6
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   6.03

     challenging words:    cobalt, full-blown, infectious, perinatal, ugandans, agriculture, medication, vulnerable, tribal, finding, rainfall, distinctive, natural, especially, virus, nervous
     content words:    Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, Sub-Saharan Africa, United States

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A Girl from Uganda Fights HIV
By Colleen Messina

1     Annabelle felt sad and nervous as she waited for her test results. She felt much more scared than you do when you wait for the results of a test in one of your classes at school. Annabelle was finding out whether she tested positive for HIV.
2     Annabelle is only 11 years old, but she has faced many challenges. She became an orphan when she lost both of her parents to AIDS. Unfortunately, she tested positive for HIV. Annabelle learned that she got the virus when her mother breastfed her. This is called perinatal transmission. Even though there was a drug that could have prevented the virus from infecting Annabelle, her mother did not receive the medicine. Annabelle is receiving treatment for her illness, but her condition does not have a cure.
3     Annabelle is not alone in Uganda. Thousands of children there are infected with HIV. Approximately 110,000 children in her country are living with HIV/AIDS. Many are not receiving proper treatment for their condition. People with HIV often do not have symptoms for many years, but at some point, symptoms do appear. They might lose weight. They might have a dry cough or a fever. They have spots on their tongues and in their mouths and throats. It might seem like the person has the flu. During this stage of the disease, they will test positive for the HIV virus.

Paragraphs 4 to 9:
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Extended Activities:

1.  Annabelle and other children with HIV have to take medication two times a day at specified times to help their condition. Design a toy that would help children take their medication regularly and that would make it fun for them. You could design one kind of toy for girls and another for boys, or you could design a toy that both would enjoy.

2.  Write a script for a television commercial that would encourage people to adopt needy children from other countries. Be sure to have the name of the adoption agency and information on how people can contact the agency for more information as part of your script. Optional: Design a logo for the adoption agency.

3.  Put together a profile of a child like Annabelle who needs to be adopted. Include his or her life story and why adoption is necessary for the child. If the child has special needs, research and write a description of that condition. Write a description of how the child lives now and how his or her life would change if given a chance to be a part of a family in the United States.

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