UA Health hosts World AIDS Day

By Yvonne Condes

Arizona Daily Wildcat

In order to educate and remind students about HIV and AIDS, UA Student Health sponsored World AIDS Day on the Mall Friday.

"A lot of students have become desensitized and are tired of the issue, but it is still very much here," said Lee Ann Hamilton, health educator for Student Health.

The Bisexual Gay and Lesbian Association organized a presentation for the event where small flags representing every 50,000 AIDS cases were stuck to a cloth map of the world draped across the ground in front of Old Main.

"It is to give a view of how widespread AIDS is throughout the world," said anthropology junior Shawn Adams.

The majority of the flags were clustered in the subsaharan Africa region. This shows "how profound the disease is and how all encompassing," Adams, BGALA event co-director said.

Pieces of cloth were available for people to write about how AIDS has affected them. The material will be sewn together and shipped to the Names Project AIDS Memorial Quilt, which is exhibited throughout the country, Adams said.

Todd Lawson, first-year graduate student in acting, filled out a cloth square for the quilt. He said he is aware of the importance of AIDS education because he has lost friends to the disease.

"It is definitely important. There are so many misconceptions," Lawson said. "It's definitely not just a gay, lesbian, bisexual disease."

Tucson AIDS Project and People With AIDS Coalition of Tucson provided information about services for people living with HIV for World AIDS Day, which was designated by 189 countries to draw attention to AIDS.

Frisky Business, Safer Sex student education program, gave away condoms, red ribbons and educational materials.

Sheri Miller, bilingual education junior and Frisky Business member, said AIDS education is important because "it is such a common problem on campus, on every campus."

Jessica Armistead, theatre arts freshman, wore a red ribbon from the Frisky Business booth. She said everyone needs to be aware of AIDS, adding, "If we don't stop it now it will affect everyone, everywhere."

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