AIDS education from S. African professor

Michelle Thrasher

Jane Stadler, a professor from the University of Cape Town, presented “HIV/AIDS Media Awareness Initiatives in South Africa” last week.

Over five million people in South Africa have AIDS and it is most common in heterosexual young women. Stadler explained the effects of using different communication mediums, like television, radio and print, to raise AIDS awareness.

“Choosing the right media is very important,” Stadler said. “Radio is a medium of choice in South Africa, TV won’t reach majority of the population but radio will.”

Stadler also has a concern with how students deal with the issue of AIDS. “I hear students say ‘I trust my partner,’ but it’s not about that. Responsibility is about knowing not trusting,” she said.

“We may not have much firsthand experience with AIDS/HIV but it is a large issue even in our part of the country and people should be made aware of it rather than just pushing the issue under the rug,” Quinnipiac junior Emily Hayworth said.

One million have HIV in the U.S., and 40,000 people are infected every year. Unlike South Africa, however, treatment is available.

“Programs like this should be run more often on campus so the students get the picture and understand just how important it is to be checked, or for them to know their partner’s history,” senior Josslyn DeCrosta said.

Stadler encouraged students to be tested for HIV and AIDS.

“The end aim of media communication is getting people to talk face to face about AIDS and to not be afraid or ashamed,” Stadler said.