Kampala: Born HIV-positive, Sharifah Nalugo was just a child when her grandfather kicked her and her mother out of the family home after he discovered they both had the disease. Now 21, the artist and activist has spent most of her life campaigning for the rights of people with HIV.
As a peer educator for the People in Need Agency, Nalugo uses music, drama and dance to teach other young people about HIV prevention and help them cope with the stigma that comes with being HIV-positive. In 2014, her work as a role model was recognized by the Uganda Network of Young People Living with HIV, which crowned her the winner of its annual beauty pageant. “People look up at you and say you are HIV-positive, but you are still the queen,” she says.