Chapters Celebrate World AIDS Day

Submitted by Lori Staples

As an international awareness and involvement effort, multiple chapters came together in December to close the year with a great event. Chester (PA) Alumnae Chapter, Jamaica Alumnae Chapter, Southern Africa Alumnae, and Upsilon Tau Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority collaborated to present a World Aids Day. A hybrid program to raise awareness of HIV/AIDS within the community focused on health disparities, stigma, healthy habits, and community resources. HIV/AIDS is not as widely covered now as it had been previously; however, HIV/AIDS is still an epidemic around the world. Southern Africa Alumnae Chapter has the highest AIDS rate per capita in the world, and Jamaica has one of the highest in the Caribbean.

Chester (PA) Alumnae Chapter donated $100 to the Jamaican Network of Seropositive, which is located in Jamaica. Participants who attended the program received free AIDS/HIV testing. Attendees were educated on the disparities of access to treatment and resources in our countries and offered resources and services in their local communities.

Additional collaborative partners were (1) Aids Care Group, a non-profit organization that provides comprehensive social and clinical services to those impacted by HIV/AIDS; (2) Marie Ranselle, MSN, an academic nurse educator, professor, and community health advocate; (3) 

 Jumoke Patrick, Executive Director of Jamaica Network of Seropositive, an NGO that advocates for the rights and concerns of people impacted by HIV/AIDS in Jamaica.

After the program, the committee members met to debrief and discuss the planning process, impact, and outcomes. They also assessed via question-and-answer during the program to determine whether the participants understood the concepts and key anticipated outcomes.

1. AIDS is a prevalent disease in the world.

2. Encourage safe sex and regular health screenings.

3. Dispel stigmas and stereotypes.

4. Highlighting the disparity in access to treatment and resources in South Africa and Jamaica versus those available in the United States

News of the event was shared by word of mouth, multiple social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Chapter website), and various news outlets. Fifty-six people participated in the program including 36 sorors and 20 community members.

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