Presentation discusses AIDS concern in Africa

By Kendall Neil
April 22, 2004

Mark Garlit

The Collaborative Learning Community, Healing Matters sponsored in partnership with Catholic Relief Services a presentation on Wednesday, April 14, on the growing problem of AIDS in Africa. The presentation given was broken down into three parts including a powerpoint presentation that gave audience members the real story about the disease that is plaguing Africa, followed by a poster session run by students who take part in Healing Matters, concluding with a CRS presentation about advocacy in relation to AIDS.

Aids is defined as a “severe immunological disorder caused by HIV, resulting in a defect in cell-mediated immune response that is manifested by increased susceptibility to opportunistic infections and certain rare cancers. It is transmitted primarily by exposure to contaminated body fluids, especially blood and semen.” The AIDS epidemic is the number one cause of death in Sub-Saharan Africa. In 2003, an estimated 23 million people were infected with the virus; of these 2.1 million are children. During her first visit to Africa in April of 2000, 82 percent of people that Kathy Brown visited in a hospital were dying of AIDS.

The AIDS epidemic leaves as many as 11 million children orphaned. Children then lose their chances at schooling, having now to be considered the main caregiver, and the trauma of having lost their parents. It is expected that by 2010, 20 million children will be orphaned.

Brown feels as though there is a sense of hope. The people who have been affected are rallying for support to cure AIDS. She also believes that we need U.S. leadership on the AIDS bill.

Junior business major Yoshi Sommer, a poster presenter at the event said, “Although I have no interest in science, AIDS is a pretty heavy topic and is good to have knowledge on.”

Posted to the web by Mark Garlit

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Kendall Neil

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