By Anthony D. Ávila
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Monday, November 28, 2005
A UA club will join students across the U.S. this week to inform students about a disease that affects 40 million people worldwide.
The "AIDS Week of Action," sponsored by the UA chapter of the Students Global AIDS Campaign, was organized by students to raise awareness about the local and global impact of AIDS, said Laura Reichhardt, a public health senior and the club president.
The weeklong campaign coincides with the 18th annual World AIDS Day, which occurs every year on Dec. 1.
In the past, students on campus have organized events on World AIDS Day, but this is the first year the events have been planned for an entire week, Reichhardt said.
AIDS Week of Action
|Events are from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the Student Union Memorial Center unless otherwise noted.|
Today: Religion and AIDS: How faith fights back; an interfaith discussion in the Copper Room
Tomorrow: On the front lines: UA in global AIDS; in the Kiva Room
Wednesday: The Face of HIV: Personal stories; in the Presidio Room
Thursday: World AIDS Day: Action on Film; the documentary "Pills Profit Protest" from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the Modern Languages building, Room 314
More than 20 clubs and organizations will help with the scheduled events in the evenings or behind tables on the UA Mall each day from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Reichhardt said.
Students who take a moment to listen will probably be surprised by what they find out about AIDS, Reichhardt said.
"I'm surprised every day, so I'm sure other students will be, too," she said.
The disease, which is transmitted primarily through sexual contact or shared needles, killed 3 million people last year of the nearly 40 million people who are living with the disease, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation Web site.
Reichhardt said students who want to get involved in the cause to defeat the disease globally or learn safe practices in their own lives should come to this week's events or one of the club's meetings.
"Going to any event is a good way to start," Reichhardt said. "One of the biggest goals (of our club) is to inform people."
Sanjay Sinha, the director of the International Alliance for the Prevention of AIDS, said students can practice personal health habits and that joining together can drastically impact how much the U.S. spends on AIDS prevention and treatment.
UA students have an advantage because of local proponents of AIDS awareness, like Rep. Jim Kolbe, R-Ariz., who expressed interest in attending one of the events on campus this week, Sinha said.
"Students, especially at the UA, can have a huge effect on global funding for AIDS," said Sinha, a senior majoring in molecular and cellular biology. "We have the passion and the ability to make an effect, and we need to realize that potential."
In addition to the week's events, a traditional African dance by Eno Washington and a full instrumental ensemble will also be on the Mall Wednesday at noon, Sinha said.