Activity 10: "I have AIDS" - A role play
• To sensitize the group that persons with AIDS (PWA) should not be ostracized but supported
• Primary and secondary students and adults
• Sign that says, "I have AIDS", 4 cards
• On the 4 cards write the following, one reaction per card:
Reaction #1 Touch the PWA's (Person with AIDS) shoulder and when you read the sign he/she is wearing, you pull your hand away. Then you run to the restroom and wash your hands. (Pretend you are doing this.)
Reaction #2 You read the sign and say "You're kidding, right?" Then you ask the PWA how he/she could be admitted to school with this deadly, contagious disease. Also say that you are going to contact the school administration and have the PWA dismissed from school. Then leave the room.
Reaction #3 You read the sign and say "Oh, you must be one of those drug addicts. You should be locked up somewhere where you can't hurt the rest of us normal people." Then leave the room.
Reaction #4 You read the sign, shake the PWA's hand and say, "It's nice to meet you." Then sit down in the chair next to the PWA's seat.
• Distribute the signs and the cards to 5 students in the class who you think are good actors. Allow a few minutes for them to read the cards before actually playing the role play. Try to pick a student who is self confident to be the PWA since he/she may be teased for having AIDS by fellow classmates.
• One participant wears the sign, "I have AIDS." The participant with the PWA sign is a high school senior and is sitting at a desk in a classroom.
• Other students (1-4) come into the classroom and the PWA introduces himself/herself to them.
• The four have the reactions described above.
• At the conclusion of each situation, ask the group if the person's reactions are based on fact or fear.
• Discuss each situation individually.
• Ask the PWA how he/she felt in each situation.
• With adult groups, have the situation be a village, a mothers group, a factory, etc. Adjust the reactions according to the situation e.g., if the situation is a factory, in reaction #2, the reacting participant would threaten to speak to the boss to have the PWA fired.
From: The Ohio Public Schools AIDS Manual