“Hug me, I have HIV.”

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For UNICEF, Mary Gelman photographed the story of Baurzhan, a 14-year-old advocate for young people living with HIV in Kazakhstan.

“I am one of those 149 children. I am HIV-positive and today, I am the only teenager in Kazakhstan with HIV who is living openly.”

This story is part of a special series produced by the UNICEF Europe and Central Asia Office and photographed by VII Photo Agency to mark 30 years of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Follow along over the next few weeks as we share additional stories, photographed by VII’s Anush BabajanyanFranco Pagetti, and Maciek Nabrdalik, of young advocates using their voices to protect and promote the rights of other young people.