November 29, 2012
The Valdosta State University (VSU) HEROs have organized a week-long "TakeOver" on campus to publicize HIV/AIDS prevention. HERO (Hearts Everywhere Reaching Out for Children) is hosting its 2nd Annual HIV/AIDS Awareness Week. HERO is a nonprofit organization devoted to improving the quality of life for children affected by or infected with HIV/AIDS. HERO provides programs and connections to the VSU campus and community through forums and other events and informs them about the mounting, and sometimes overlooked, epidemic of HIV/AIDS in Georgia.
"TakeOver" week began on November 26 with an "Action in the Paint" event where faculty and students interacted and publicized the week by making hand prints on a wall at the campus. On November 27, students participated in a mini-talent show called "The Take Over," where Poetic Magic, a group of local poets, also performed. Second Harvest Food Bank received all donated canned food, and HERO received all other donations. The VSU NAACP and Black Student League collaborated to sponsor a "Kill the Noise" forum on November 28, which provided enlightening information on HIV/AIDS and stereotyping. Percy Chastang, Youth Development Coordinator for the South Health District, spoke at this forum. On Thursday, November 29, the VSU HEROs, working with Student Health and the South Health District, provided free HIV testing for students, faculty, and staff.
Prior to World AIDS Day on Saturday, December 1, the Office of Health Promotions and the South Health District will present filmmaker Lisa Biagiotti's documentary, "Deep South," to VSU and the community on Friday, November 30 at the Student Union Theater at 4:30 p.m. "Deep South" emphasizes the alarming numbers and truth about HIV/AIDS. Biagiotti will hold a question-and-answer session after the showing, and participants can attend a reception. A vigil will begin at 7:30 p.m. in front of VSU's West Hall, at which the Collegiate Men of VSU will pay respect to those that have lost their lives to HIV/AIDS or those who have been affected by it.