AIDS Has no Color
Students Perform to Raise HIV Awareness
By Kira Ward
BSU's Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs (ATOD) organization and Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc. performed the theatrical performance, "AIDS Has No Color" on March 9 to help raise awareness among Bowie State University students.
The program had many different components, one in which letters were read from individuals who had been infected with the HIV virus. Among the stories were a mother and daughter who were both infected, and trying to remain hopeful throughout it all.
Following the letters, skits were put on to convey the many scenarios of how individuals contract the disease and deal with being infected. There were skits about a married woman, an unfaithful wife, a drug user, and a child of a mother infected.
The actors and performers were mostly BSU students, as well as other thespians and talented artists. The students who participated set an example for other students to take this issue seriously and get involved in making a difference. The audience got to experience a great deal of emotion and empathy for those who had HIV, but a large portion of the program was also informative. Not only were facts given about this terrible virus' origins, but also about how it can be contracted and how to prevent it. This is information that many take for granted, but many people are still unaware of how serious the issue is.
Toward the end the program, leaders thanked all of the people who were behind the success of the program and invited audience members up to sign a blanket that included signatures of those who had tested positive. This was for those who knew someone infected, or if they were infected. It was disclosed that many of the people whose signatures were on the blanket had lost the war with HIV/AIDS.
Free HIV testing for Bowie State students is available weekly in the Henry Wellness Center. Results take approximately two weeks, but there is rapid testing available at clinics in the area and the wait is about twenty minutes. Many campus organizations also bring rapid testing to the school, so students should be on the lookout.
If you have already been infected, there are many resources available to you such as BSU counseling services and various hotlines that help you with acceptance and seeking the best treatment for you to live the most fulfilling life that you can. If young people continue to spread the word and seek knowledge, perhaps one day HIV will be a thing of the past.
Since the 1980s, HIV has affected millions worldwide, and it continues to do so today. It is the leading cause of death among African-American women and one in five of individuals infected are unaware that they have it. It is one of the most serious issues that the population faces today, and it is essentially important to the African-American community. There is currently no cure for HIV/AIDS but with awareness, the spread of this fatal disease can be stopped.