Michael Joseph Binamungu is a 26-year-old youth from Bukoba, Tanzania. In
April, 1990 he kept getting recurring fever and headaches. He got thinner and
thinner. Sores on his tongue bothered him for many days. Finally he went to
the hospital to get his blood tested. The nurse gave him the terrible news. He
was HIV Positive. He had AIDS.
devastated. He began to despair. He would die without having children. He
wouldn’t be able to help his aging mother. But then Michael started to find
hope. He decided he would live positively with the illness of AIDS. He
announced publicly that he has AIDS and that he wanted to get involved in AIDS
Education Programs. In a public statement he said: "I am deeply bothered by
the ever increasing number of youth being afflicted by the sickness of AIDS. I
have decided to stand up in front of young people and tell the story of my life
before I was afflicted with AIDS so that this lesson would be a life-giving
example to them."
a course in pastoral counseling. Now he is part of a team that conducts AIDS
Education Workshops. He is helping to make a videotape on the care of AIDS
patients in the home. Michael says: "Many do not believe that I tell the truth
because they know that it is most amazing for a person to talk in public about
being afflicted with such a terrible sickness as AIDS".
Teresa of Calcutta tells each of us: "Today people with AIDS are the most
unwanted and unloved brothers and sisters of Jesus. So let us give them our
tender love and care and a beautiful smile." Who is going to give Michael a
Questions for Reflection and Discussion:
1. How does Michael’s example give hope to people with
2. How can Michael’s story help people to publicly talk
3. What does
Mother Teresa’s quote mean to you?