Mason Hosts HIV/AIDS Awareness Week

Posted: November 29, 2006 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Dave Andrews

In support of World AIDS Day on Dec. 1, George Mason will host a number of health-related events between now and Dec. 6. Organizers for the campus-wide HIV/AIDS Awareness Week aim to educate students, faculty and friends on the transmission, prevention and detection of the virus.

The week-long program kicked-off on Tuesday when AIDS memorial quilts were put on display in Student Union Buildings (SUB) I and II, and in the Johnson Center. The quilts will hang throughout the next week as reminders of those who died after contracting the virus.

“HIV/AIDS Awareness Week will help put a face on a disease that often seems too far from home,” says Danielle Lapierre, coordinator of health education at George Mason. “Many people have a preconceived notion of what someone living with HIV looks like, and this will help correct or change that misperception.”

Highlights of the program will include opportunities to participate in free, confidential HIV testing. On Nov. 30 and Dec. 6, the Fairfax Campus will host testing on the North Plaza from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Also during the week, various speakers will present their experiences, ideas and perspectives on the HIV virus and touch on possible solutions. The first presentation will be given today at 7:30 p.m. in the SUB II Ballroom. The second will be held Dec. 1 from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Johnson Center Dewberry Hall. A third presentation – including a panel of three young adults living with HIV – will be held Dec. 5 at 7:30 p.m. in the Johnson Center Cinema.

In addition, a photographic exhibit of children orphaned by HIV and AIDS will be on display in the SUB I Quad Nov. 30 and Dec. 1. On Dec. 4, a documentary about the HIV pandemic will be shown in the cinema at 7:30 p.m.

All events are free and open to the public.

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