You Beautiful Black Women and Alpha Phi Alpha are teaming up to get students’ attention about the consequences of reckless sex.
The two organizations are bringing speaker Maria Davis, HIV/AIDS awareness specialist, to campus to talk with students about HIV, STDs, and AIDS during the Sex in the City II Event. Davis suffers from the AIDS virus herself and contracted it from her fiancé. After getting the virus, she decided to try to make a difference through education.
Davis has been on various television stations such as BET, MTV, UPN, and CBS and has won many awards for her efforts to educate the public about the potential consequences of sex.
“YBBW and Alpha Phi Alpha hosted this event last World AIDS 2009 and we decided to bring it back because of the success of last year,” said Joy Haley, member of YBBW. “We had at least 200 to 250 attend last year and we are hoping we can fill the Dome Room again.”
This event ties into the World AIDS Day campaign, which works to promote many things such as unity of social movements and social justice. The two organizations are hoping students can take a lot of knowledge away from the event.
“I believe that it is very important to educate students about HIV and AIDS because the disease has no cure,” said Haley. “Learning about the disease is the only way that people will be able to know how to prevent the growing epidemic.”
Haley said this event will help students learn how the disease is spread, what the symptoms are, and how to prevent yourself from contracting it.
“Bringing awareness to this campus is something that our organization strives on,” said Haley. “AIDS, HIV, and STDs especially are preventable, but people don’t care to know their status or take the time out to get tested. We decided to give students a better approach to learning about something.”
Students will be able to ask anonymous questions at the event to avoid embarrassment or unwanted attention. The organizations are hoping this will encourage students to get their questions answered.
In addition to the speaker, nurses from Planned Parenthood, Birkham Health Center, and the Central Michigan Health Department will also be there to answer questions during a panel discussion. The questions asked of the panelists will also be asked anonymously.
The event will take place on World AIDS Day, which is Dec. 1, from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Rankin Student Center Dome Room. Those who attend will receive a free gift bag from BET and various other contributors, which includes items such as prevention pamphlets and condoms. Admission to this event is free.
“I believe that our program will be a start for a student to deal with HIV or AIDS,” said Haley. “We are not trying to scare people about the issue. We just want to inform them of their surroundings and how they can prevent it from spreading.” n