World AIDS Day sparked a round table discussion about raising awareness among LGBTQ+ students in the lower area of the Student Center on Dec. 2.
Robert Leahy and Katie Mattise, two employees at the LGBTQ+ Center, arranged the talk for students to ask questions or share personal experiences.
“Today’s discussion was just the start,” Mattise said. “Just because today is AIDS Day, doesn’t mean we should only have this talk once a year. We need to be having it a lot more so that people know how to prevent it altogether or from spreading.”
The LGBTQ+ Center wanted to break down the stereotypes associated with their community and AIDS.
“It can still be a taboo topic because people will think you’re ‘dirty,’ but we wanted to let any student know that we have a support system ready for you and you didn’t do anything wrong,” Mattise said.
The LGBTQ+ Center offers free condoms and dental dams to any student in need in hopes to decrease the spread of sexually transmitted diseases and promote safe sex alternatives. They are also working with the DeWeese Health Center for a free and confidential AIDS screening.
Contact Sydney Ford at email@example.com.