Adams State College AIDS Awareness Week begins December 1


photo by Jenna Bohnen

The 2009 World AIDS Day theme is "Universal Access and Human Rights". World AIDS Day, observed worldwide each year on December 1, started in 1988 not just to raise money, but also to increase awareness, education and fighting prejudice.

Adams State College is hosting a diversity activities for AIDS Awareness Week December 1 through December 3, including three NAMES quilt pieces displayed from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m. for all three days in the Student Union Building. One of the pieces was made by SLV community members in 1995.

A drumming ceremony starts at 12:00 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 1, at the Japanese/American Memorial Garden, later that evening at 7:00 p.m. in the Student Union Building's Carson Auditorium, Dr. Bob Linden, physician, and Maureen Orr, nurse practitioner, will share their last year's experiences working with people with HIV/AIDS in Uganda as part of their work with the organization Doctors without Borders.

HIV testing, at no cost, will be available from 1:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 2, in the Student Union Building room 315. No appointment is needed for the testing, and results will be available within 20 minutes.

Elaine Regan, Adams State nursing instructor, will speak on "Sexually Transmitted Infections" at noon Wednesday, Dec. 2 and again at 12:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 3 in the Student Life Center of the Student Union Building. An AIDS related movie begins at 7:00 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 2, in Connor Hall, pizza provided.

The annual Candlelight Vigil starts at 6:00 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 4, in Carson Auditorium. Events are free and open to the public. High school age students are encouraged to attend all the events.

According to UNAIDS/WHO 2007 estimated statistics; there were 33.2 people world-wide living with HIV/AIDS, including 2.5 million children. There were also 2.7 million people newly infected with HIV world-wide, and 2 million deaths in 2007. At the end of 2007, women accounted for almost 50 percient of all adults living with HIV worldwide. More than 25 million people have died of AIDS since 1981 leaving over 12 million AIDS orphans in Africa alone.

World AIDS Day is important in reminding people that HIV has not gone away, and that there are many things still to be done.

What can you do to help? Educate yourself about the disease, support education in your community and become an advocate. Get tested if you are at risk for HIV due to unprotected sex with high risk partners. To get tested at low cost, call Planned Parenthood at 719-589-4906 and make an appointment with Sherry for confidential testing.

For information on local services call Charlotte Ledonne, SLV Area Health Education Center, at 719-589-4977. For more information about the campus events contact the Adams State Campus Ministry Office at 719-587-7516.