Sydney Grossman / Roundup
More than 30 million people are living with HIV/AIDS in the world today. Approximately two million of those will die according to AVERT.
Although deadly, the infection is both preventable and manageable.
Pierce College is hosting their biannual HIV/AIDS Awareness Week March 21 through the 25; a week dedicated to informing students and staff on the campus on what precautions to take.
In the past, the week could have been deemed a success on how aware Pierce’s students were, but unfortunately, no can do.
Health Center Director Beth Benne has reiterated the importance on how health issues and concerns should all be addressed. It’s not only life saving but helpful.
In California alone, there is an estimated 67,000 people living with an AIDS diagnosis as of 2008, according the AVERT Organization.
Beginning on March 21 speakers from Being Alive, an agency designed with supportive services and education tools, and HIV/AIDS testing will be offered.
First, take advantage of the free and anonymous testing. Although the vans are located in Lot 1, it’s worth being safe and knowledgeable about your own life.
Second, the Mall should be lined with posters and booths offering locations of all happenings about the week as well as handouts on facts and figures.
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, Benne should work with as many professors on setting up mandatory meetings within the classrooms on bringing speakers from Being Alive to share their story.
After sitting in on a speaker two semesters ago, the impact of hearing a real-life story put into perspective the hurdles patients go through and highlighted the importance of raising awareness to the cause.
With the clubs involvement on the week, students, professors and faculty can be brought together to cause change within the Pierce campus.
What’s the point of having an awareness week if no one knows?
Let them know!
Last year, the Roundup conducted a random poll that showed out of 500 students, 341 of them were unaware it was HIV/AIDS Awareness Week.
This semester, the same poll showed that out of 150 students, only 33 knew the week was approaching.
It is never too early to start promoting special events, especially with regards to HIV/AIDS.
It was too little too late in the past on getting the word out. Let’s not make the same mistake again.