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Child born with HIV/AIDS calls for end to discrimination


06-03-2014 08:54 BJT

It's hard to imagine a ten-year-old boy being forced to eat separately from his family, then washing his bowl alone after finishing the meal. But for Hu Zetao, who has AIDS, this used to be his everyday life. But things changed after he starred in the 2009 film "Love for Life", which depicts the life, and the discrimination faced by those with AIDS in rural China.

"I used to play with my friends and was happy every day. But after I found out I was infected with AIDS, they abandoned me. I felt really sad." Hu said.

Hu Zetao’s mother died of AIDS when he was 4. Three years later, in 2005, tests showed Zetao was also infected with the virus. After being treated in the hospital, Zetao’s condition improved and he became enrolled at the Red Ribbon School, where all 16 students also have HIV/AIDS.

It was there that the casting crew for the movie "Love for Life" met Zetao and chose him as their lead character - a role he never expected.

"I was so excited. I was laughing all the way to Beijing. Being an actor is a totally new thing for me, so I tried my best to act." Hu said.

Zetao now keeps little records of his life with his friends at school. He says he wants to turn these pieces into a documentary in the future.

"We live a happy life at school, just like normal children. I want to ask people not to discriminate against people living with HIV/AIDS. We are just like normal people." Hu said.

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