Events planned for AIDS Awareness Week

When students, staff and faculty return on Monday from the Thanksgiving holiday break, organizers of the AIDS Awareness Week hope to see plenty of red on campus.

Hosted by the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, the special week will provide a number of opportunities to learn more about HIV/AIDS epidemic, remember those who have died from the virus, receive free testing and show support for additional research. The offices of Campus Involvement, Community Living and the Dean of Students, as well as the Internationalization Global Perspectives Committee are co-sponsoring the week’s activities.

Joseph Hohman, Community Coordinator and liaison to the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, said World AIDS Day has been observed worldwide on Dec. 1 every year since 1998.

Though all the events are free and open to campus members, donations will be accepted to help support AIDS research.

Students, staff and faculty can receive a free HIV test from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday in the Riggs Board Room in Andrews Hall.

Two events will be offered on Tuesday, starting with a 7:30 p.m. discussion about the AIDS epidemic, which will lead into an 8 p.m. showing of the movie Philadelphia. Both will take place in the lobby of Harrison Hall.

 “The Names Project — AIDS Memorial Quilt” will be on display in the Great Room in Andrews Hall from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday and from 3 to 10 p.m. Thursday.

Rounding out the special week will be a special campus photo. Students, staff and faculty are asked to wear a red shirt, sweater, coat or hoodie to help create a “Human Red Ribbon.” A photograph will organized starting at 8:15 p.m. Friday in Fenton Court.

Hohman emphasized the significance of the AIDS Memorial Quilt display.

“The quilt, which was created in 1987, memorializes those who have died of AIDS-related illness,” Hohman said. “I have seen the quilt before and, for me, it was a very moving experience. I encourage all our campus partners to attend. AIDS and HIV are not just gay issues or African issues; they are global issues that can affect anyone, even here in the Mid-Ohio Valley. Unfortunately I know several people living with HIV and it has caused much strain in their lives. My hope is to educate people and prevent the spread of HIV.”