Tuesday, February 16, 2010

HIV/AIDS Awareness Program

By Ifeanyi Onwumah

On Thursday February 4, HIV/AIDS Awareness speaker David Robertson came to SXU and delivered an uplifting and information-packed performance. Robertson’s presentation was especially interesting because it kept the audience engaged and alert at all times. He added spontaneous SCREAMS and dramatic movements to heighten the intensity of his show.

In this one-man show, Robertson conveyed the misery and possible depression that came along with contracting HIV by sharing his own story and battle with the disease and how it completely changes one’s life forever. Robertson talked about how the disease has changed the way he is perceived by others, his sexual lifestyle, his eating habits, and his overall health.He spoke of his battle with the disease from even before he contracted it to his eventually getting it, and how living with the virus has now given him a new and vivacious lease on life.

While telling his story, Robertson also spoke of how difficult it is to get people’s attention about HIV and other STDs. He said that the youth of America (ages 16 – 28) have a very na├»ve view of HIV and believed themselves to be immune to the disease. He warned that people with such a mind frame are the most susceptible to the disease. Dave also provided us with mind-boggling statistics, as he said heterosexual African-American women are more likely to contract the disease than homosexuals. This is obviously contrary to popular belief and this along with other statistics left the audience with the thought that “everything is not always what it seems.”

Robertson listed reasons why the HIV/AIDS pandemic is not slowing down: unwillingness to get informed/tested, those who have the disease refusing to disclose this information with their sexual partners, tendency amongst youth to have unprotected sexual contact with multiple partners, etc. He stressed that until these big problems are rectified, the HIV problem wouldn’t go away.

This was certainly an eye-opening event for me as I have always let talks of HIV/AIDS fall on deaf ears and never really considered myself as someone who would contract such a disease. I am certainly elated that I attended the program and hope that more passionate speakers such as David Robertson would visit SXU.

Ifeanyi Onwumah is a sophomore philosophy major from South Holland. He participates in several campus clubs. Consideration for the student bloggers is provided by Saint Xavier University.

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