University to offer free HIV screenings in Park Hall

What is HIV?

HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus. The virus compromises the body’s ability to handle disease and causes AIDS.

What is AIDS?

AIDS stands for acquired immune deficiency syndrome. A person has AIDS in the final stages of HIV, after the immune system has been broken down and is no longer able to defend itself against viruses.

Symptoms of HIV:

• Dry, flaky skin
• Persistent tiredness
• Fever that comes and goes
• Diarrhea lasting more than a week
• Heavy night sweats
• Rapid weight loss
• Swollen lymph nodes in the armpits, groin or neck
• White spots on the tongue, mouth or throat

Symptoms specific to infection of certain areas of the body such as headaches for the brain and cough for the lungs.

Having these symptoms doesn’t mean a person has HIV or AIDS because many illnesses have symptoms such as these. The only way to know if you or someone you know is HIV positive is to be tested.

How HIV can be spread:
HIV can be spread through vaginal, anal or oral sex.

Prevention:

• Condoms
• Take stock (focus on yourself and how you feel about your life choices)
• Be sober while having sex
• Fewer partners
• Monogamy
• Abstinence

SOURCE: aidshealth.org

Ball State will join the fight against HIV and AIDS by observing World AIDS Day today. In 1988, World AIDS Day became the first global health day and is observed Dec. 1 every year.

The Office of Health, Alcohol, and Drug Education is dedicated to raising awareness of the AIDS pandemic caused by the spread of HIV.

There will be free HIV testing from 3-8 p.m. today in the Park Hall Seminar Room as well as an awareness table from 11 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. in the Atrium.

At the awareness table, peer health educators will offer sexual health and responsibility games and provide information on HIV and AIDS, protection and abstinence.

World AIDS Day is an opportunity for those worldwide to show support for those who have it, to remember those who have died from it and to help fight HIV and AIDS.

Ryan White from Kokomo, Ind., is among the most famous for having it, and his story is told in an exhibit at the Indianapolis Children’s Museum. Throughout the exhibit, there are several sections that guide you through his years spent living with HIV.

The exhibit introduces White’s family and how he contracted HIV from a contaminated blood treatment and shows speeches from friends and family to a glimpse of life in the 1980s. It dives into the story about a nationwide epidemic.

“AIDS can destroy a family if you let it, but luckily for my sister and me, mom taught us to keep going,” White said in a quote on the Indianapolis Children’s Museum website. “Don’t give up, be proud of who you are and never feel sorry for yourself.”

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