AIDS Awareness Week

Bailey Freestone

ISU Global Health and AIDS Coalition hosts its annual weeklong event this week through Friday.

Each year, the coalition designates a specific week for spreading awareness about the effects of HIV and AIDS among the ISU community.

“The goal of our week is to raise awareness about HIV and AIDS globally,” said Greer Brown, awareness director of the organization.

The first event the organization hosted for its awareness week was on Nov. 19. The organization featured Gregorio Millett, the senior policy advisor on HIV and AIDS of the Centers for Disease Control, to speak to the group and other members of the ISU community. The lecture filled the Great Hall at the Memorial Union. Organization members also set out signs with facts about HIV and AIDS along the walkway between Curtiss and Beardshear to help raise awareness among students and faculty at ISU.

Dec. 1 is World AIDS Day. The ISU GHAC members stood in front of the library and gave out hot chocolate, condoms and fact sheets about HIV and AIDS. The organization also showed Deep South, which is a documentary about HIV in the Southern U.S.. The documentary was then followed by Skype questions and an answer segment with the directors of the documentary.

Lastly, organization members planned an event they called “Day Without Art.” During the event, the organization planned to cover the main art around campus with black tarps. The group hoped this would send a startling message to the student body and show how it can affect anyone. AIDS activists in the Ames community have done a similar event in the past, and the ISU Global Health and Aids Coalition was hoping to revive the event. However, the group was not granted permission by the university to host “Day Without Art.”

“Overall, our organization aims to alleviate global health and HIV issues primarily through influencing political policy and holding politicians accountable for the promises they make relating to global health, as well as to spread information about global health issues to our community,” said Sam Brodersen, junior in community and regional planning and global resource systems, also an active member of ISU Global Health and Aids Coalition.

“We believe that zero people should die of preventable diseases and everyone deserves access to health care. World AIDS Day and World AIDS Awareness Week are important because the ISU community has the power to make an impact on the HIV and AIDS epidemic, but that can only happen if people are educated about the issues and get involved in making a difference,” Brodersen said.