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Book about African Children Living with HIV wins prestigious award

Author: UNAIDS
16 September 2015

Set in Africa, The Bravest Boy I know has been awarded first prize in the Popular Medicine category of the British Medical Association (BMA) Book Awards.

The Bravest Boy I Know is about two friends, Kendi and Kayla. Kendi is living with HIV. The story is set in Africa and is a heart-warming tale of how the two friends deal with HIV in a positive way. 

The book conveys the important message that by taking medicine, children living with HIV can live active and healthy lives, while also explaining that the medicines can make children feel unwell and tired.

The judges noted that the book, “Is a unique offering … and is well-presented and engaging. If used appropriately it could be an important public health tool.”

UNAIDS Director of Communications and Global Advocacy Annemarie Hou, accepting the award on behalf of UNAIDS, said, “This is a tremendous honour and recognition that children everywhere need access to high-quality health information.”

The book, which is beautifully illustrated by celebrated artist Sujean Rim, was launched in May 2014by UNAIDS and the United Nations World Tourism Organization’s Sustainable Tourism for Eliminating Poverty (ST-EP) Foundation at an event attended by the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Ambassador Dho Young-shim, Chairperson of the ST-EP Foundation. The book is dedicated to Mr Ban for his work in prioritizing education through the Global Education First Initiative, which aims to put every child in school, improve the quality of learning and foster global citizenship.

Speaking at the launch in 2014, Mr Ban said that, “This book, which will be delivered to schools across Africa through ST-EP’s Small Libraries project, will help everyone understand that young people can live normal and fulfilling lives with HIV.”

Ambassador Dho said at the launch in 2014, “As the UN MDGs Advocate for Education, I firmly believe in the power of education to accelerate the achievement of all UN MDGs by 2015, and particularly Goal 6—aimed at HIV. This meaningful collaboration with UNAIDS is creating synergies that will have a powerful impact on the education and the health of children.”

To view a video summarising the book's narrative, click here.

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