C-U events stress awareness

Several organizations held events on campus to promote awareness about AIDS and HIV on Tuesday in honor of World AIDS Day.

Representatives from Champaign–Urbana Public Health District, or CUPHD, visited the University and offered a free HIV testing service. They provided three types of testing from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.: a rapid test, a non–rapid test and a blood test.

The results for a rapid test take about 20 minutes, while results for a non-rapid test take about two weeks, said Joe Trotter, prevention specialist of CUPHD. He added that a blood test takes a few weeks to receive results.

Chris Bridges, sophomore in LAS, said the tests help students understand what the dangers and harms of sexual activity are.

“I think it’s very important as far as the community goes,” Bridges added.

In the CUPHD testing van, employees also distributed several leaflets about sexual health and condoms for the tested students.

At noon, some students distributed condoms for free on the Quad.

“I do think more students are aware of HIV and AIDS,” said Tia Ress, sophomore in Media. “A lot of things that I don’t think they are aware of is that it’s not the AIDS that kills you. It’s other sicknesses that you’re more susceptible of receiving just because you have AIDS.”

Ress and Katherine Thornton, senior in LAS, are members of Sexual Health Peers, a Registered Student Organization. They distributed free condoms before Thanksgiving break.

“I also think a lot of people are not aware of the risk involved in having unprotected oral sex,” Thornton said. “It’s very common among college students.”

Tuesday evening, Bruce D. Nesbitt African American Cultural Center and SHP held an event, titled World AIDS Day Program: Confessions, where people expressed their thoughts about HIV and AIDS using poetry, spoken drama, song and dance.

Danielle Taylor, senior in AHS, presented a poem called ‘A condom speaks out.’

“It just stresses the importance of the use of condoms and how condoms prevent STDs,” Taylor said. She also went to the event because she was trying to become involved in the event as much as possible

“Open your TVs; open your books,” Ress said. “I think people need to be aware is that it just doesn’t happen in Africa. Throughout the world that happens, everywhere people really need to be aware of that.”