(View AIDS Awareness Luncheon event on Facebook)
(View AIDS Awareness Luncheon event on Facebook)

By LISA MCGANN, Guest Writer

The Women’s Resource Center is having its annual Aids Awareness Luncheon again December 6 in Kochoff C from 12-1 PM. There will be soup, salad, fruit and dessert dishes with a variety of drinks, so make sure to stop by to get some free food!

There will be speakers from HIV/AIDS Resource Center (HARC) and the Michigan AIDS Coalition. The goal is to educate the student body about the AIDS epidemic and how it can be stopped. Both organizations will have people there sharing their personal stories dealing with AIDS.

Today, the PRIDE organization, in collaboration with AIDS Partnership Michigan, is providing free HIV/AIDS testing to students from 11am-2pm in Room 2016 in the UC.

HARC is a non-profit organization that provides HIV/AIDS related services to Southwestern Michiganders. They provide HIV testing, medicine referrals, and other services to help people who have HIV/AIDS live as normal as possible.

The Michigan AIDS Coalition is one of Michigan’s largest non-profit organizations. It is dedicated to health promotion, harm and risk reduction, education about HIV and STD prevention, grant making, and public policy. The organization has had thousands of workshops to train and educate people, reaching over 500,000 people. In 2011 alone, they educated 30,000 people about HIV/AIDS!

HIV/AIDS is a serious problem in around the world, especially in the United States. More than one million people have HIV in the United States. One in five people living with HIV are unaware of their infection. Every 9.5 minutes, someone in the United States is infected with HIV. Fifty thousand Americans are diagnosed with HIV each year. In 2009, more than seventeen thousand people died of AIDS In 2009, African Americans accounted for forty-four percent of all new HIV infections.

It is every important that people get tested for HIV/AIDS. By getting tested, people can learn how to treat their illness and how prevent passing it onto others. The Women’s Resource Center believes it is imperative to educate people on HIV/AIDS because it is something that affects everyone.

“It is important for the Women’s resource Center to take part in World AIDS day because the issues have an impact on us all, therefore we must do our part to educate and save a life,” says interim director Shareia Carter. People do not like to talk about HIV/AIDS, but talking about it can truly save a life.

“…HIV/Aids is the elephant in the room, which many choose not to see,” says Desirae Tolbert, one of the event planners. “Too often we brush topics like this under the rug because they are taboo or difficult to address. I choose not to ignore this epidemic! In fact, no one should. A condom or better decision-making skills could save your life!”