In recognition of World AIDS Day on Dec. 1, Iowa State's Global Health and AIDS Coalition will host World AIDS Awareness Week on campus.
Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, or AIDS, is a chronic and life threatening disease caused by the human immunodeficiency virus, or HIV. It can be transferred sexually, during childbirth or through blood. Treatment can slow down the progression of the disease, but currently there is no cure. An estimated 36.7 million people worldwide live with the virus HIV, according to the official World AIDS Day website.
The ISU Global Health and AIDS Coalition is a student organization aimed at spreading awareness for HIV/AIDS. On the student organizations database, their page states, “The ISU Global Health & AIDS Coalition is an organization that advocates for policies in the political arena that are favorable toward increased access to medications and healthcare. While keeping politicians accountable to the promises they make, we also educate ourselves and promote awareness on campus about the resource constraints and pervasive disparities in global health.”
“GHAC is important due to the openness to discuss current policies along with student health and give individuals a place to fight for the policies that advocate for healthcare advancements, discuss global issues, etcetera,” said Madeline Haeffele, senior in kinesiology and health, and president of the organization.
In addition to World AIDS Awareness Week, the group also hosts the spring HIV/AIDS Monologues and advocates for public and global health programs such as the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, or PEPFAR, and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
“ISU Global Health and AIDS Coalition is committed to being advocates for all aspects within healthcare that are favorable towards increasing access to treatment and basic health needs,” Haeffele said. “This, in regards to our work, includes holding congressional meetings with political entities to discuss future plans, holding lecture series to provide students access to real stories, and giving out information for resources within our community.”
On Wednesday, the Global Health and AIDS Coalition will be handing out information from Thielen Student Health in regards to their resources, along with red ribbons.
“We plan to hand out red ribbons that students can wear on their backpacks to show support for Global AIDS Awareness Day and everything that it stands for,” Haeffele said.