Julian E. Wooten
Each year, on this first day of December, organizations and individuals around the world plan events to participate in World AIDS Day.
Maybe you’ve had this happen to you. People love to discuss campus events with you once they find out you’re a UNC student. This was the common scenario I found myself in a few weeks ago at one of my favorite restaurants.
You’re not good enough. Nobody is going to love you. You’re a failure. Nobody likes you. You’re nothing. You’re a nobody. There’s nothing special about you. You have no chance of making it in this world. You’ll never amount to anything.
Recently, I had the privilege of shooting a HIV/AIDS public service announcement. This advertisement featured scenes of other activists and me answering questions about why we got involved in the AIDS awareness movement. While we each were asked specific questions about our involvement, we all were asked, “How can the average person get involved?”
On a routine trip to Wal-Mart, I found myself on an aisle with a rather loud woman on a cellphone. For those of us who frequent Wal-Mart, this is no surprise. She was discussing the recent actions of one of her friends when she screeched, “She needs to stop making out with guys at the club. She gonna catch AIDS or something.”
It is estimated that 1 out of 500 college students (0.2 percent) is infected with HIV/AIDS. This shows an alarming trend primarily fueled by three factors: high sexually transmitted disease rates, substance abuse and lack of awareness.