November 19, 2013

SIU to commemorate World AIDS Day

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Southern Illinois University Carbondale will commemorate the 27th annual World AIDS Day with several special activities Dec. 2-6. 

Students can participate in free, sexually transmitted infections testing from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 2-6 at the Student Health Center.  Testing is by appointment only and appointments are available for booking online at by calling 618/453-3311.  

Confidential urine- and blood-based testing is also available to SIU students each weekday from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Student Health Center Lab. The tests cost $6.  Appointments may be made online at

In conjunction with World AIDS Day, there will be a panel discussion and AIDS vigil.  Both events are both free and open to the campus community and general public.   The panel discussion “HIV Prevention, Testing and Community,” is from 5 to 6 p.m. on Dec. 4 in the Student Health Center Auditorium.  Refreshments will follow the discussion about HIV prevention. 

The Southern Illinois AIDS Vigil, from 5:30 to 6 p.m. on Dec. 5, will honor, remember and celebrate the lives of those affected by HIV and AIDS.  The vigil begins in the Student Health Center Auditorium and will then move outside for a candlelight ceremony. 

Donations collected at the event will go to help purchase grocery store gift cards this holiday season for dozens of area low-income households impacted by HIV/AIDS.  For more information, visit, call 812/480-0204 or email

Organizers say the purpose of the campus World AIDS Day events is to increase awareness, knowledge and prevention skills and encourage testing. 

The Student Health Services’ Wellness and Health Promotion Services is partnering with the Jackson County Health Department, the Center for Service Learning and Volunteerism, the Black Graduate Student Association, the Center for Inclusive Excellence, the LGBTQ Resource Center, the National Black Association for Speech, Language and Hearing (NBASLH), the Southern Illinois AIDS Walk and the National Student Speech, Language and Hearing Association to sponsor the World AIDS week events.

First observed on Dec. 1, 1988, World AIDS Day is dedicated to increasing awareness about the AIDS pandemic and dispersing valuable information to help reduce the spread of the HIV infection.