New AIDS awareness group to begin on campus

Caleb Jenkins

Kent State has joined 110 national chapters of Face AIDS, an AIDS awareness group. Junior biochemistry major Alexandra Hill was the force behind getting the organization started.

“I want students to get enthusiastic about something that can help so many people,” Hill said. “Hopefully this organization can start it.”

The aim of Face AIDS is to put a face on AIDS and make it a more real and personal disease. Its first meeting will be at 6 p.m. Oct. 8 in Room 307 of the Student Center.

“Our mission is to sell beaded pins made by affected Rwandans to raise awareness about AIDS in Africa,” Hill said.

The beaded pins are attached to a printed story of the person who made it and how AIDS has affected his or her life. The money made, which will be matched by private donors, will be sent to Partners in Health, a non-profit organization that gives AIDS treatment and health care to patients.

“Face AIDS employs patients of Partners in Health in Rwanda to make the pins, providing them with an income they otherwise wouldn’t have,” Hill said.

The pins will be sold throughout the semester at tables inside the Student Center. Face AIDS will also be making a health presentation from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. on Oct. 9 in the Student Center.

“We are also planning on collaborating with other student organizations, holding educational and social events and possibly getting a speaker for November,” Hill said.

The biggest event for the group will be helping with World AIDS Week during the first week of December, said Scott Dotterer, coordinator for the Office of Health Promotion and adviser for the group.

Dotterer provides educational information and creates opportunities for the group to be active on campus.

“We’ll have tables set up in the Student Center with information,” Dotterer said, “and other activities will be scheduled throughout the week.”

Some of the activities include giveaways, HIV testing and an informational speaker on AIDS.

“The impact I want Face AIDS to have on campus is to get students excited to help other people,” Hill said.

Contact student health reporter Caleb Jenkins at [email protected].