Indian River Students Mark World AIDS DayPosted: Updated:
At Indian River High School, the students of the Warriors Fight AIDS Club want to make sure the fight against AIDS isn't forgotten.
"Whether you realize it or not, a lot more people are affected than you realize. It still is a stigmatized disease so it's still kept under wraps," said Mary Goff, vice president of Warriors Fight AIDS Club.
Together with ACR Health, the club put on a service Friday afternoon to raise awareness of HIV and AIDS and to mourn those who have lost their fight with the disease in honor of the 30th anniversary of Worlds AIDS Day.
The ceremony included pinning red ribbons on a wreath, poems about HIV and AIDS, and the history of the AIDS Memorial Quilt. Panels of the quilt, which was created in San Francisco as a memorial for people who lost their lives to HIV or AIDS and was first displayed at the national mall in Washington D.C., were displayed on the auditorium stage.
"There are now over 48,000 panels; it's too large to be displayed all together anymore but this what we have right here, we have the regional quilt, so these were all from central New York," said Goff.
ACR Health estimates there are 113,000 people living in New York with HIV or AIDS. The students say they hope their event educates the community about the people who are affected.
"It does raise a lot of awareness of HIV and AIDS and it decreases the stigma centered around HIV/AIDS and it just really helps bring the community together to realize this is a problem and we have to tackle it," said McEwen Thornton, club member.
"It's very important, even at my age, even though I'm not affected, I still educate people of my community about that and I educate kids my age because currently in America right now kids my age, 16-24 are the most affected people with HIV and AIDS," said Tyler Moss, club member.
One day with a message that the students hope lasts all year.