AIDS Awareness Week

The past week marked AIDS Awareness Week at St. John’s.

From March 23 through 27 the University held numerous events to educate students and faculty about the disease.

The week began with Sunday Mass, a time for those who attended to reflect on the disease and those suffering from it. Ribbons were handed out to remember the lives lost.

The week continued with an informational table on March 25 educating students about AIDS and HIV.

The table was set up in Marillac Cafeteria to raise awareness and knowledge of the epidemic and to fight for the lives of the future. About 450,000 people have died of AIDS since the early 1980s when the epidemic was first discovered.

In the UC lecture hall during common hour on March 28 an AIDS activist spoke to students. The speaker was Traci Bowman, an African American woman who was diagnosed with HIV in 1992. She was here to make her voice heard and to spread awareness at the University about AIDS. Haraya sponsored the campus visit.

A candlelight vigil was held Thursday night at the chapel to bring the week to a close. There was a service held afterward to bring students together to pray for those affected by AIDS and HIV.

All of the proceeds from the raffles, ribbon sales, and the bake sale held this past week on the campus will go to the organization Camp Hope. Camp Hope is a charity that helps young children with HIV deal with their disease. It also helps parents deal with the fact that their children have this disease.

There are many websites available for those interested in learning more about AIDS. A good place to start is the site www.aidsonline.com, which keeps up-to-date information on the newest information found on the disease.

AIDS, acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, is a condition that results from HIV infection. When people with HIV develop AIDS, the virus has damaged their immune system to the point where they develop diseases that most healthy people can resist.