Kent State Health Services to offer free HIV testing today

Amanda Hayes

Today is National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, and Kent State is taking advantage of this opportunity to spread the word across campus. The Office of Health Promotion is working with the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity to promote the 2008 NBHAAD “Prevention is Power” theme.

University Health Services will be offering free anonymous HIV testing to all students at the DeWeese Health Center today. Though the Awareness Day is focused on African Americans affected by HIV/AIDS, free tests are available to all students.

An informational table will be set up on the second floor of the Student Center from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., offering educational materials on sexual health. The table will also have refreshments and give-a-ways.

Associate professor Diane Kerr will give a presentation, “Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day: Beyond the Statistics,” from 2-3 p.m. in the Kiva.

Kerr said she will discuss “why African Americans are hit so hard by this disease and what we can do about it.” Kerr said she will also touch on religion and politics in regard to AIDS awareness.

“The biggest way to reach the black community is through church,” Kerr said. However, she said many churches do not want to talk about AIDS because it is seen as a homosexual disease.

Kerr will also talk about what presidential candidates have said about AIDS and what they want to do about it. Crystal Franklin, a Kent State doctoral student, will be presenting with Kerr.

To schedule an HIV testing appointment, students should contact University Health Services office of Health Promotion at 330-672-2320. Health Services will hold another free HIV test day March 10 and two more throughout the spring semester.

Contact student health reporter Amanda Hayes at [email protected].