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SWT to commemorate World AIDS Day

Date of release: 11/23/98

SAN MARCOS, TEXAS — Southwest Texas State University will observe the 11th annual World AIDS Day, slated for Dec. 1, with activities on Nov. 30-Dec.1.

A banner contest for the residence halls will be held Nov. 30. All participating halls will display banners to promote World AIDS Day information. First place winner in the contest will receive $100, and second place will receive $50. Events scheduled for Dec. 1 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Quad include a giveaway of 100 coupons for free HIV antibody testing from the Student Health Center (valued at $15 each); an educational game called “The Wheel of Love” with various prizes, including World AIDS Day T-shirts; and distribution of red ribbons and educational materials on abstinence, safer sex and HIV. The winning banners from the hall contest will be displayed.

This year’s World AIDS Day theme is “Be a Force for Change.” The purpose of this theme is to recognize the millions of young adults worldwide who are affected--directly and indirectly--by HIV/AIDS. The goal is to increase understanding of the magnitude of the HIV/AIDS epidemic globally and to emphasize the epidemic continues despite new hope in treatment.

One hundred ninety-one countries around the world are observing this day to draw attention to the AIDS epidemic. In the United States, activities for World AIDS Day around the country are coordinated by the American Association for World Health, in conjunction with the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), the Pan American Health Organization, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

World AIDS Day will link communities throughout the United States in a unified observance when the White House dims its lights from 7:45 to 8 p.m. This visual demonstration will signify the commitment to fight the AIDS pandemic and will give tribute to people living with HIV/AIDS and to those who have died from AIDS.

UNAIDS estimated that as of June 1998, 30.6 million men, women and children worldwide were living with HIV/AIDS, and that if current trends continue, between 60 and 70 million adults will have been infected with HIV by the year 2000. Worldwide, one out of every 100 adults is living with HIV and at least 50 percent of all new infections are among people under the age of 25.

As of Dec. 31, 1997, 641,086 AIDS cases were reported in the United States. Of these, approximately 385,000 had already died.

The SWT World AIDS Day activities are sponsored by the Health Lifestyles Committee and the Network. For more information about World AIDS Day activities at SWT call 245-3601. For information on AIDS testing or other questions call the Student Health Center at 245-2161 or Family Planning at 392-5816.