December is AIDS Awareness Month, and Kean University is acknowledging this with multiple events that are promoting education concerning sex, disease and communication. AIDS Awareness Month is a month of opportunity to reflect and raise awareness for the disease that affects millions of people all around the world every year.
The kick off for AIDS Awareness Month began Dec. 3 when Kean's Center for Leadership and Service acknowledged World AIDS Day. World AIDS Day was on Dec. 1 but because of the weekend, the university honored the day on Dec. 3.
Representatives from the Center for Leadership and Service stood at a table of flyers, pamphlets and educational brochures that talked about STD facts. Some included specific diseases like chlamydia, gonorrhea, AIDS, HIV, as well as sex health for same sex relationships, PrEP and resources on campus for sex health. The purpose of the event and tabling was to educate students who walked into the Miron Student Center Atrium on STD and STI issues. They promoted students to participate in a quick trivia game to win a prize.
The trivia game consisted of answering true or false questions about HIV/AIDS, other STDs and STIs. If students answered three questions correctly, they would win a prize that consisted of a gift bag from health services with condoms both male and female, as well as educational flyers on sex education.
While the month is dedicated specifically to HIV and AIDS, many events are taking place on campus to educate students on many sexually transmitted diseases and sexually transmitted infections.
During the month of December, a series of educational events will take place to promote sex education and raise awareness for AIDS. Included in these events were the events that promoted getting tested for different sexually transmitted diseases and infections.
Get Yourself Tested (GYT) gave students free HIV testing and offered discounted prices for examinations for other diseases and infections. For $9.50 a test students can get screened for gonorrhea and chlamydia, and for $6 they can get tested for syphilis.
At the GYT event, a representative came to educate students on PrEP, which is a medication that helps to prevent HIV. The pill is to be taken daily and monitored by a doctor every three months for refills and progress updates.
The best advice students and everyone should know is that it is best to get tested yearly for STDs, STIs and more regularly if one is more sexually active.
For more information on sex health and education, contact Student Health Services at (908) 737-4880, or visit them in Downs Hall, Room 126. Student Health Services is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.