PRIDE! to spread awareness about AIDS after break

Bryan Wroten

PRIDE!Kent will host programs and events for AIDS Awareness Week from April 2 to 7.

Starting the Sunday before classes resume, PRIDE!Kent members will construct the AIDS memorial on Front Campus, PRIDE!Kent President Christopher Taylor said. The group has been putting together the notecard markers for the past two weeks. Taylor said they have more than 11,000 notecards finished.

“It should be beautiful,” he said. “It’s been amazing just doing the project. You run past cards where you recognize names like Ryan White and Rock Hudson.”

He said the memorial will show that anyone can become infected, famous or not.

“The memorial helps to remember people who didn’t have family or people to mourn over them,” he said. “It honors people who never got honored. They deserve to be honored.”

There will be a candlelight vigil at 10 p.m. April 3 on Front Campus, Taylor said.

The DeWeese Health Center will offer free anonymous HIV testing from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday. Taylor said the Akron AIDS Task Force will perform the rapid mouth-swab tests at the Health Center, which has results in 20 minutes.

There will be a drag show in the Student Center Ballroom at 8 p.m. April 5.

During PRIDE!Kent’s normal Thursday meeting, Taylor said the group will take a survey about HIV/AIDS knowledge and attitudes toward HIV/AIDS and then discuss the results. He said they will probably also have another vigil that night.

Taylor said there will also be a speaker from Violet’s Cupboard, an Akron area AIDS holistic services program, on April 3 or 4. The speaker is confirmed, he said, just not the date.

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