| 03.24.2018

Break down stigma – UI joins global recognition of World AIDS Day

There are an estimated 36.9 million people living with HIV around the world, according to the Center for Disease Control. Despite the disease”s international reach, Health Education Coordinator Emily Tuschhoff said there are still misconceptions regarding who HIV and AIDS can affect.

“There is a stigma surrounding HIV in that only certain groups get it, that it”s only happening in Africa, or that it”s only happening in gay men. But this is simply not true,” Tuschhoff said.

In order to raise awareness of the disease, the University of Idaho LGBTQA Office and Vandal Health will host a series of events for World AIDS Day, which is Tuesday.

A screening of “It”s Not Over” will be held at 6 p.m. Wednesday in room 040 in the Teaching and Learning Center. The documentary focuses on millennials living with or affected by the disease.

Julia Keleher, director of the LGBTQA Office, recommended students attend the showing and said the documentary will touch on the history of HIV and how it affects people”s lives on the national and international levels.

There will also be free HIV testing from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday in the Clearwater room in the Idaho Commons. Testing is free and takes no more than 15 minutes.

“I think that people think that HIV is not a concern,” Keleher said. “The reality is it is still a threat and they can still get tested.”

The goal of the World AIDS Day organization is to break down the stereotypes surrounding HIV and further awareness.

By learning about HIV, Tuschoff said students can build awareness about the disease and inform their peers.

Carly Scott  can be reached at  arg-news@uidaho.edu

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