Published: November 21, 2008
Georgia poses in the game room of a house sponsored by the Ursuline Sisters AIDS Ministry for children infected or affected by HIV/AIDS. The house offers meals, counseling and academic help to Georgia and 25 other kids who have the disease or live with someone who does. She has been visiting several times a week basis since age 6, when her mother was diagnosed with HIV, and is comfortable enough to arrive in her pajamas.
Though the feeling of isolation attached to caring for a family member with HIV solidified for Georgia and her older brother almost a decade ago, she has still only one friend outside of the house who knows her mom is infected.
Daily worry about her mother dying coupled with the fear of being mocked by other kids has closed her off, she said.
"They don't know what its like. The girls and make fun you for the stupidest things," Georgia said. "I'm used to being quiet at school. When I'm here [at the house], I can express myself."