AIDS prevention and testing brings awareness to campus

By By Jessica Fresques

By Jessica Fresques

People should not fear AIDS testing and should instead view it as a socially responsible act, said campus student health service staffers. Student Health Services provided free saliva testing last week as part of World AIDS Day.

But for students who want to get tested, it’s not too late. The testing is usually done for $10 in the Madsen Health Center, but they offer free tests on the first Tuesday of each month.

“The testing is not scary. You should have the test just to know your status and to take away the stigma of having a test,” said Alisha Campbell, health educator for student health services.

U student Derek Deviny, a senior in management and information systems, agreed.

“I don’t see testing as a big problem, it is just being responsible, and free stuff is always good,” Deviny said.

During the free testing on Dec. 1, representatives from SHS answered questions about the testing, which takes a mere 20 minutes.

John Spillman, senior in political science and sociology, represented the Lesbian Gay Student Union with pamphlets about AIDS and free condoms.

“We just want students to know that this support system is available,” he said.

Spillman also helped with the Big Queer Wheel of Fabulous Prizes event. For $2, students were able to spin the wheel and win a pride bracelet, a Gay Fuel Energy drink, a book, hat or shirt.

The money raised went toward the “Kids Wish for Tomorrow Foundation,” which supports 12 families with hemophiliac children at Primary Children’s Hospital.

Coinciding with World AIDS Day on Dec. 1 was A Day without Art, for which shrouds covered art all around campus to recognize artists who have died from AIDS or HIV.

Jessica Fresques