GSU students screened for HIV/AIDS

Grambling State University students were recently screened for HIV/AIDS for HIV/AIDS Awareness Day 2010, under the theme “HIV/AIDS Prevention – A Choice and a Lifestyle”.

“Women & Girls HIV/AIDS Day, will take place on, March 10, Campus AIDS Prevention coordinator Daina Howard said.
Howard, said the Louisiana Office of Public Health sought to screen 1,000 people from historically Black colleges.

Grambling State University’s high student turnout put the university above longstanding rival, Southern University in Baton Rouge which only tested 150.
Meantime, Southern University-New Orleans reported 90 people were tested. Xavier reported 50 tested people.

The event was organized in conjunction with Counseling and Testing staff, Outreach Staff, Governor’s initiative, University student organizations and local community based organizations, said Howard.

She revealed that she was pleased with the results and believes that various local programs assisted in the large number of students wanting to be screened for HIV/AIDS testing.
One of the programs she spoke about was Sex in the Dark, which provides students the opportunity to be informed about sex and risky sexual behaviors.

“I think the message is in effect once students understand the reasons why they are being tested.

“We were impressed with the attendance, and students were asking when there will be another testing exercise,” Howard said.

Although Howard couldn’t reveal if any of the individuals tested were positive, she said the fact that students supported the initiative shows that students take their health seriously and understand the reality of HIV/AIDS.

Howard was in appreciation to a number of parties who helped make the event a success: the Office of Public Health which donated 400 HIV/AIDS tests, Go Care, Cedric Jackson, Rhonda Hensley, staff at Foster Johnson Health Center, Venita Grimmes and Gwen Guillory.

Foster Johnson Health Center provides free screenings for HIV/AIDS. There is also counseling and medication available if students tested positive.