November 26, 2012

AIDS awareness program is Thursday

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill -- Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Student Health Services Wellness Center will commemorate the 25th Annual World AIDS Day with a number of special activities on Thursday, Nov. 29.

The first observance took place on Dec. 1, 1988, to raise awareness of the AIDS pandemic and the spread of the HIV infection around the world.  The University continues efforts each year to raise awareness, encourage HIV testing and increase prevention knowledge and skills.

“More than 27 million people worldwide have died from HIV and an estimated 33 million people are currently living with HIV, making it one of the most destructive pandemics in history.  Our goal in participating in events like World AIDS Day is to raise awareness about prevention and testing efforts.  HIV is preventable; our goal is to give the SIU Carbondale community the opportunity to learn how to prevent contraction and support those who are already positive,” said Sarah Steinkamp, wellness coordinator.

The Wellness Center is collaborating with the Black Graduate Student Association, the Center for Inclusive Excellence and the Southern Illinois AIDS Walk for the commemorative event.  Activities will include free sexually transmitted infection (STI) testing, a movie, a speaker discussing HIV prevention, and the AIDS Walk.

The schedule of events includes:

  • 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. -- Free STI testing for all SIU Carbondale students.  Student Center, Delta Room, which is on the fourth floor.
  • 5 p.m. -- Jason Gillman will discuss HIV prevention, 5 p.m.  Student Health Center Auditorium.
  • 6 p.m. -- AIDS Walk.  Student Health Center atrium.
  • 7 p.m. -- Film “Endgame:  Ending AIDS in Black America.” Student Health Center Auditorium.

Steinkamp also notes that SIU Carbondale students can receive confidential urine- and blood-based STI testing every weekday at the Student Health Center Lab from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. for $6.  Students may book an appointment online at

For more information about the University’s World AIDS Day events, contact Steinkamp at 618/536-4441 or by email at