On Dec. 1, a commemoration in honor of World AIDS Day will take place at Lorain County Community College. From 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. in the College Center, students in HIV/AIDS courses taught by LCCC’s professor of microbiology Dr. Harry Kestler will organize the event, with informational presentations of HIV research and posters throughout the day.
The event aims to raise HIV/AIDS awareness among the LCCC student body as well as the community.
“It’s become an evolution, [World AIDS] day, said Kestler. “It’s much more positive because so many people are surviving and doing well and we’re all looking forward to the day when hopefully maybe in [today’s college students’] children’s generation, there won’t be any HIV.”
Three student research groups will each present their knowledge on one type of mutation and its positive or negative reaction to HIV.
“I believe it is very important to continue such events because many people are still very misinformed about HIV/AIDS [and] there are still stereotypes that follow HIV+ individuals that simply don’t hold true,” said Austyn Lilly, an HIV research student who will be presenting with his group at the World AIDS Day event. “[Events like this] help spread awareness of these issues while showing support for the many people who suffer from the virus.
Free and confidential AIDS testing will be available for all who attend, including students, faculty, staff and community members.
A silent auction benefiting the Lorain County AIDS task force will also take place during the course of the event. All profits earned will go directly to the organization, whose purpose is to provide support and resources to Lorain County members who test positive for HIV / AIDS.
Following the commemoration, a memorial ceremony will be held from 5 to 6 p.m. in honor of those who have been impacted, either first or second hand, by HIV / AIDS.