Georgia: Valdosta State University HEROs Rock Red for HIV/AIDS

On March 11, the Valdosta State University (VSU) chapter of the National Council for Negro Women (NCNW) and the VSU HEROS hosted a red-themed event to promote HIV/AIDS and heart disease awareness. Guest speakers from the South Health District gave presentations and held question-and-answer sessions. A fashion show followed the talks. Erika McCoy, VSU HEROS president and NCNW secretary, created the event and co-hosted it with fellow member Nevel Phillips. McCoy declared, "I just want people to know these diseases are preventable. Knowing about them is better than ignorance toward them."

Speakers Tracy Gosier and John Rogers addressed the topics of diabetes, heart disease, and HIV/AIDS, and shared information about how to prevent these diseases. They revealed that the Southeast has the highest number of HIV cases; more than a million people in the area live with AIDS; and there were 25,000 new cases in 2010 alone. Rogers, a community HIV educator, asserted that STDs particularly affect young people. He hoped to make college students aware of the STD problem. At the fashion show following the presentations, the models wore their favorite red clothing item to highlight fighting AIDS and heart disease.