Student organizations host speaker, events for World AIDS Day

Amy Cooknick

World AIDS Day Events:

Confidential HIV testing.

•10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

•DeWeese Health Center

Information tables

•11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

•Student Center second floor

Shoe and clothing drive

•Nov. 27 to Nov. 30

•DeWeese Health Center lobby

The Office of Health Promotion will host a keynote presentation at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the Kent Student Center Ballroom in honor of World AIDS Day 2012.

Dianne Kerr, associate professor of health sciences, will present the “Update and Call to Action” on the current state of the HIV/AIDS pandemic.

According to a university press release, Kerr’s presentation focuses on research introduced at the International AIDS Conference in Washington, D.C. this past July. Kerr’s speech also includes the results of a recent university-conducted study of Kent State students’ knowledge about HIV, with special attention to prevention and testing among college students.

Scott Dotterer, coordinator of the Office of Health Promotion, said in an email that Kerr’s presentation is part of a daylong series of events for World AIDS Day, which also includes confidential HIV testing and a shoe and clothing drive.

Tom Ream, senior Spanish major and president of Face AIDS at Kent State, said Kerr has spoken at Kent State before as an AIDS activist.

“She encourages students to get involved and know their status [with regards to HIV/AIDS],” Ream said. “It’s better to know if you don’t have AIDS — or if you do — than to not know anything at all.”

Ream said Kerr encourages students to take social action.

“We’re pushing to get students and faculty involved with talking with their congressmen [about funding AIDS research] and letting them know that this is very important to the world,” Ream said. “We do need to support this in any way we can. If we cut [funding], millions and millions of people are going to lose the fund that keeps them alive.”

Kent State World AIDS Day is sponsored by the Office of Health Promotion, Face AIDS Kent State, PRIDE! Kent, the College of Public Health student alliance and UNICEF-KSU.

Contact Amy Cooknick at [email protected].