Syracuse University

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SU sponsors new 'HIV/AIDS & the Queer Community' series

February 16, 2009

Amit Taneja
(315) 443-3983

Amit Taneja

Syracuse University has created a new program series, "HIV/AIDS & the Queer Community," designed to educate all members of the SU community about the history and current issues around HIV/AIDS. The series commenced in January, continued with a testing event in mid-February, and will continue throughout the semester.

"HIV/AIDS & the Queer Community" events are open to all members of the University community, regardless of gender or sexual orientation. Content will focus on issues of concern to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) community, and will introduce students, faculty and staff to activism around HIV/AIDS.

SU's LGBT Resource Center is co-sponsoring the series with Syracuse University Health Services, the Chancellor's Feinstone Grant for Multicultural Initiatives, the Onondaga County Department of Health, AIDS Community Resources and the newly formed student group OrangeAID, which focuses on HIV/AIDS education among SU students.

Globally, HIV/AIDS continues to impact people of all genders, races and sexual orientations. Currently, more than 1.1 million Americans live with HIV, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that roughly 56,000 new HIV infections occurred in the United States in 2006. Additionally, the CDC estimates that 34 percent of these new infections were among men and women 13-29 years old.

"These programs serve as an important reminder to students that HIV/AIDS can not only happen to young people, but that it is happening at an alarming rate," notes Emily Allen, president of OrangeAID.

"The program series promotes discussion about HIV/AIDS, specifically noting its historical connection to the LGBTQ community, while reminding everyone that HIV/AIDS affects everyone regardless of gender or sexual orientation", says Adrea Jaehnig, director of SU's LGBT Resource Center.

"Each of us has an opportunity to take charge of our sexual health. It starts with education," says James Jacobs, director of SU Health Services. "For those who choose to be sexually active, it also requires learning to talk with partners about sex before doing sex, it requires consistent commitment to safer-sex practices and, when appropriate, medical consultation and judicious testing." Health Services offers one free confidential HIV test per year for all full-time students. Other testing is available on a fee-for-service basis and is often covered in-full or in-part by health insurance.

A programming board of students, staff and community volunteers has come together to create this series. Free condoms, dental dams and HIV/AIDS and educational materials are available at the LGBT Resource Center, SU Health Services and at all of the events in this series:

Tuesday, Feb. 17, and Wednesday, Feb. 18
"Real Sex-Talk to the Doc!"
7:30 p.m., LGBT Resource Center

Do you have questions about safe sex and sexuality? Are you uncomfortable asking these questions of your doctor? Now is your chance to come meet with a doctor to answer all your questions in a safe and confidential space. The Feb. 17 forum will feature information tailored toward men, while the forum on Feb. 18 will primarily deal with women's health information. Students are encouraged to attend whichever forum is more suited to their needs-or both.

Wednesday, Feb. 18
Friends of Dorothy Dinner
5 p.m., departs from LGBT Resource Center

Come join us for the monthly fundraiser dinner to support the Friends of Dorothy House, a home-based care facility for people living with AIDS. The suggested dinner donation is on a sliding scale starting at zero, and all are encouraged to help out. R.S.V.P. to lgbt@syr.edu to carpool. Other Friends of Dorothy Dinners will take place March 25 and April 29.

Tuesday, March 24
HIV/AIDS & the Queer Community in Central New York-A Panel Discussion
8 p.m., Hall of Languages, Room 207

Come to this informative session about the history of HIV/AIDS activism in the Central New York community. Panelists will offer a look back at the impact of HIV/AIDS in our community, and the people and organizations that came together to respond to the epidemic.

Tuesday, April 7
Living with HIV/AIDS-A Panel Discussion
8 p.m., Hall of Languages, Room 207

What is it like to live with HIV/AIDS today? How have medical developments and social changes impacted those living with HIV/AIDS? How do people living with HIV/AIDS negotiate personal relationships? Join this informative panel discussion to learn more.

The LGBT Resource Center is located at 750 Ostrom Ave. To find out more about the "HIV/AIDS & the Queer Community" program series and to see the full calendar of events, visit http://lgbt.syr.edu, email lgbt@syr.edu or call (315)443-3983.

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