A slideshow remembering the celebrities who have died due to HIV was played in the background of the Cosumnes River College cafeteria throughout the “Worlds AIDS Day” event as students looked on.
Twenty-year-old early childhood development major Jamie Hicks was one of those students who watched the slideshow.
“It makes me sick seeing how many people died from AIDS,” said Hicks. “A lot of people in here could have it and not even know. It’s an important issue.”
Hicks is referring to those students who may be too shy, too embarrassed or too afraid to get tested.
“It’s an important issue, you have to pass through that shyness,” Hicks said.
The “World AIDS Day” event, held on Nov. 29, is the Health Careers Association Club of CRC’s second annual presentation of the event.
Women’s health specialists were on hand, along with organizations like, Community AIDS Resource and Education Sevices, Planned Parenthood and Golden Rule Services with information, handouts and free condoms for students. Free HIV testing was also made available to students who wanted to get tested.
Carmela Henderson, President of the Health Careers Association Club put the event together for the second year in a row.
“Medical insurance, how it is nowadays, it is so hard for people to go to the doctor,” said Henderson.
World AIDS Day was the first ever global health day and the first one was held in 1988. World AIDS Day is held on Dec. 1 every year.
“It is a day designated to those who have the illness or who may have died from it,” said CRC Nurse, Michelle Barkley.
Cupcakes were being sold for $1.50 each to help raise money to donate to the “Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation.” The foundation’s mission is to prevent pediatric HIV infection and to eradicate pediatric AIDS through research, advocacy and prevention and treatment programs.
“It’s been good,” Henderson said. When asked partway through the event. “We sold about 10 cupcakes so far. Last year we sold about 30 cupcakes and raised about 39 dollars for the Mennonite Central Committee.” The Mennonite Central Committee helps 57 countries with people living with HIV.
Henderson said they plan to donate to a different organization every year.
Chris Sevilla, a 21-year-old psychology major was also one of the few students who took the opportunity to go ahead and get tested.
“I might as well do it since it’s free,” Sevilla said. “You want to know where your health is.”
When asked about the students who may have been too shy, he offered some words of encouragement.
“Just relax, don’t stress.” Sevilla said.
Sevilla, just like everybody else who participated in the event hopes for one thing: A cure.
“I hope they find a cure soon,” Sevilla said.