Fraternity hosts HIV/AIDS Awareness Program

 

On Jan. 26, the Alpha Nu Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Incorporated hosted a program entitled “HIV/ Sex Awareness “.

The event was held in Webb Auditorium and was attended by a large number of students. The guest speaker for the night was Christopher Watson, a fall 2004 A&T graduate who currently works as a men’s health initiative coordinator for the Triad Health Project.

The Triad Health Project is an organization that has provided HIV/AIDS service, support and education for the Triad since 1986.

After an introduction of the speaker, Watson began the program by using a demonstration in which he asked the students to pass a cookie and a stick of chewing gum around the room. As the two objects were being passed from student to student many began to wonder about what the objective was to this exercise.

When the activity was over, he asked how many students would eat the objects that had just been passed around the room. The vast majority responded “No” despite the fact that both appeared to be in good condition.

He then revealed that he had used this experiment to show the correlation of the student responses to the feelings that society shares towards people with HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.

For the rest of the program, Watson touched on many interesting subjects pertaining to STD awareness. He brought great insight to such practical issues such as the proper ways to open and insert condoms, contraction of diseases and he cleared up some common misconceptions that many people have concerning the symptoms of STDs.

By far, the most informative moment of the presentation occurred when Watson displayed transparencies that showed graphic pictures from cases of STD patients from the Guilford County area.

Some of the transparencies also included disheartening statistics such as North Carolina having one of the highest HIV/STD rates of any state in the nation and an estimated 892 reported cases of STDs among African-Americans in Guilford County as of December 2003.

Throughout the entire program, Watson stressed the lack of knowledge and education about STDs as being the number one reason why the HIV/STD epidemic has been hitting the black community.

When asked about the impact that he wanted his presentation to make, he stated, “I wanted an awareness of the disease, to educate, let people know that it’s really out here and hitting the communities. It’s something that we need to acknowledge and know.”

Watson also said that he would like to come back and do a similar program in the future based on this program’s successful turnout.

  • Jeuron Dove