AIDS Awareness – deepsouth screening

Jasmine Schillinger

Iowa State’s Global Health & AIDS Coalition held a screening of the documentary “Deepsouth” in honor of World AIDS Day on Dec. 1 in the Sun Room of the Memorial Union. According to the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, more than one million people in the United States are estimated to be living with HIV.

Of that million people, 1 in 5 have no idea they’re infected. 

The documentary presented the issue of HIV and AIDS in the rural American South and the importance of having awareness of the disease that is still “persistent in the United States,” said Lincoln Wells, senior in global resources systems and statistics and president of the ISU Global Health & AIDS Coalition.

“I feel like a lot of people still have the stigma that it’s an issue that’s more centralized in Sub-Saharan Africa and other hot-spots,” Wells said. “But it’s definitely still a real issue here.”

The film showed the neglected areas of the American South that have been affected by HIV infections and many years of poverty throughout history.

“I think common misconceptions come from a massive fear of HIV [and] AIDS and a lack of the understanding of it,” Wells said. “Many think if a person has HIV [or] AIDS they can’t interact with them or touch them, which is obviously a huge misconception that can hurt people psychologically.”

Wells shares why students need to educate themselves on global heath issues and raise their HIV and AIDS awareness.

“Their voice can really make a difference,” Wells said. “The only way people can push for a difference is by informing themselves about the plights people may be going through or understanding how people are suffering from the disease.”

Iowa State’s Global Resource Systems program helped fund the event and has played a major support system for the ISU Global Health & AIDS Coalition.

“They have been really supportive through this whole process and have given us a lot of guidance on how to run events like this,” Wells said.

This was the last event of semester hosted by ISU Global Health & AIDS Coalition organization.

For more information on upcoming events next semester, visit their Facebook page.