Fullerton College’s Health Services hosted World AIDS Day on Tuesday, Dec. 1 at the Quad.
Four groups in the quad offered information and resources for those who are suffering or have questions about HIV.
According to the CDC, 1.2 million people in the United States are living with HIV. World AIDS Day is one of eight global health campaigns to bring about awareness, and is an event that Fullerton College Health Services recognizes every year.
This year, Health Services hosted four groups in the quad that offered information and resources for those who are suffering or have questions about HIV.
Planned Parenthood was available with information on protection and prevention of HIV, as well as information on testing.
The Orange County AIDS Services Foundation, founded during the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s, said that they are a nonprofit that provides several resources and support for those who have HIV. From providing rides to doctors appointments to helping with housing assistance, the group is available for HIV patients every step of the way.
The Obria Foundation had information on women’s health in light of HIV. They had information for mothers-to-be who are concerned about the transmission of HIV to their babies. The foundation, along with the other organizations at the event, provides HIV testing, but they also offer pap smears.
National Alliance of Mental Illness is mental health support group with many outposts and meeting locations in the community. NAMI was available to provide support for those who have been diagnosed with life-threatening health concerns. They know that with some diagnoses come a corresponding depression.
“Mental illness doesn’t discriminate,” said Brandi Callision, NAMI representative. “You could be diagnosed with a life-threatening illness or diagnosis and depression often goes hand in hand. The correlated diagnoses often occur.”
In years past, the campus health center hosted a group that provided free HIV testing on World AIDS day. Today the health center offers HIV and other sexually transmitted infection tests year-round. Students are welcome to make appointments for testing by calling or by walk-in.
In addition to testing, the health center offers condoms and birth control. The health center is able to offer oral birth control medication, but they encourage students to see their physicians if they are interested in other forms of birth control.
“The students can come into the health center, and we are encouraging the use of condoms,” Jana Jenkins said, a registered nurse at the health center. “We will encourage them to wear condoms even if they are there for a different reason.”
In conjunction with the event, the AIDS Memorial Quilt was on display in the library.
The Memorial AIDS Quilt is a tradition that was started in 1987 to commemorate loved ones who have died or been affected by AIDS. The quilt is a large memorial as is, but additions continue to be sewn to its edges. The last full display of it covered the entire national mall in Washington, D.C.
A few panels from the quilt are on loan and available for viewing.