PRIDE!Kent stresses HIV/AIDS testing

Bryan Wroten

An estimated 40.3 million people are infected with HIV/AIDS worldwide, according to the World Health Organization AIDS Epidemic Update of 2005.

This figure includes men, women and children.

But those are only the diagnosed cases.

PRIDE!Kent discussed HIV/AIDS and the importance of getting tested at their weekly meeting last night. Board members passed out a short, anonymous survey at the beginning of the meeting. It asked members about their sexual history and if they’ve been tested.

Allie Charitan, PRIDE!Kent vice president and lead page designer for the Daily Kent Stater, read the results. Of the 29 people attending the meeting, she said there were 136 sexual partners total, which included some responding they’ve had no sexual partners. Of the 136 sexual partners, there were 24 testings.

“It seems pretty low to me,” she said about the number of tests.

Christopher Taylor, president of PRIDE!Kent, then read the reasons for not getting tested. Some wrote they didn’t know why, others said they never thought about testing and some said they were scared.

“It’s just scary that someone said that they never thought about it,” said Teddy Trimm, sophomore integrated social science major.

Being sexually active comes with a responsibility, freshman sociology major Colleen Ellibi said. Even though she is a lesbian, she said she still had herself tested. Lesbians have the lowest HIV/AIDS infection rate, according to Not getting tested doesn’t help anyone, Ellibi said.

While the board members were reading the results, Ally Oulton, historian and treasurer for PRIDE!Kent, read statistics about AIDS provided by the WHO and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

• 25 million people have died since 1981.

• 4.9 million people were newly infected in 2005 worldwide.

• 3.1 million people died from AIDS and AIDS complications in 2005 worldwide.

• An estimated 1.04 to 1.19 million people as of 2003 live with HIV/AIDS in the United States.

• As of 2004, 12,013 white Americans have HIV/AIDS.

• 20,965 black Americans have HIV/AIDS.

• 8,672 Hispanic-Americans have HIV/AIDS.

Contact minority affairs reporter Bryan Wroten at [email protected].