With World Aids Day this Saturday, VSU HEROs has staged a ‘TakeOver’ on campus to bring awareness to HIV/AIDS prevention.
Working with Student Health and the South Health District, VSU HEROs will provide free HIV testing for students, faculty and staff today from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the U.C.
VSU HERO, which stands for Hearts Everywhere Reaching Out for Children, is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life of children infected with and affected by HIV/AIDS through enriching programs, unforgettable experiences and connections to the community. The organization also focuses to inform the campus and community of the over-looked and growing epidemic of HIV/AIDS in Georgia, through forums and other events.
This is the 2nd Annual HIV/AIDS Awareness Week VSU HEROs has hosted.
“We are striving to address the growing epidemic of HIV/AIDS, with the help of our fellow peers, faculty and staff through the various events in support of this cause that greatly needs the attention,” VSU HEROs president, Erika McCoy, said.
This week has been filled with informative, interactive and creative events leading up to World AIDS Day on Saturday.
“Each event is an opportunity for our voices to be heard as an organization and as individuals, as well as, our actions to be seen in hopes of motivating others to fight for the cause that goes so unnoticed, but is greatly affecting our youth and local community,” McCoy said.
The Take Over began on Monday with “Action in the Paint” where students and faculty were given the opportunity to display their awareness of the cause by lending a “hand.” Hand prints were made on a board on the pedestrian mall to give students the opportunity to interact during this week.
Tuesday was one of the highlights of this week, called simply The Take Over. The event was a mini talent showcase featuring many talented students as well as performances by Poetic Magic.
All donations received were donated to HERO, Inc. and all canned food was donated to the Second Harvest Food Bank.
A call to “Kill the Noise” was made on Wednesday as VSU NAACP and Black Student League collaborated to bring the campus a forum focused on shedding light on stereotypes of HIV/AIDS and bringing a whole new meaning to awareness. Youth Development Coordinator for the South Health District, Percy Chastang, spoke to students about this epidemic and encouraged students to continue to bring awareness to this cause.
With HIV/AIDS cases mainly accumulating from the South, “knowing your status” is just another way for students at VSU to help in awareness and prevention.
As reported by the Valdosta Daily Times and by the South Health District, Georgia is fifth in the nation for new HIV infections. Furthermore, Around 50 percent of the 1.2 million people who are living with HIV/AIDS are living in the South.
The Office of Health Promotions and the South Health District will bring Lisa Biagiotti’s documentary, Deep South, to VSU which will shed light on the alarming numbers and truth about HIV/AIDS.
Deep South follows the new American South, and the people who inhabit its most quiet corners. Beneath layers of history, poverty and now soaring HIV infections, four Americans must redefine traditional Southern values to create their own solutions to survive.
The documentary is open to VSU as well as the community and will be shown in the Student Union Theater at 4:30 p.m. on Friday. There will be a Q/A with Biagiotti and a reception immediately following.
This candlelight vigil with Collegiate Men of VSU is to pay respect to those that have lost their life to HIV/AIDS or who may have been affected by it. The vigil will begin at 7:30 p.m in front of West Hall.
You can find the Trailer for Deep South here.
as well as on the website for Deep South here.