SMC participates in AIDS walk 2005

In a community effort, sponsors, workers and students joined to support victims suffering with AIDS at the ninth annual AIDS Walk for Minority Women and Children held at California State University, Dominguez Hills on Saturday, April 23.

The event raised awareness of the prevalent HIV/AIDS disease in search of treatments and prevention amongst youth and minority women.

Pamphlets listing current statistics of minority women and children that have been victims of the widespread disease were given to those participating in the AIDS Walk.

A guest speaker living with HIV was introduced in which she stressed the severity of the epidemic disease to the anxious crowd before the event began (NAME?).

According to the African-American Women Health and Education Foundation, the changing faces of HIV/AIDS has moved from gay white males to racially and ethnically diverse populations. AIDS is also ranked among the top three causes of death among African-American women.

"The devastation is now within the communities of color," said Congresswoman, Juanita Millender-McDonald.

Santa Monica College students as well as administrators participated in the event as the numbers of HIV/AIDS victims significantly soared to an estimated 900,000 last year. The fusion of the SMC community included Dr. Adams, vice president of SMC and members of the Associated Students Board, Alpha Gamma Sigma and faculty from the Financial Aid office and the Extended Opportunities Programs & Service (EOPS).

"The walk had a real sense of the community. We were all walking for the same cause," said A.S. President Jeronimo Saldana. The integration of children of all ages who participated in the walk gave hope to those great numbers of Americans living with the illness.

"AIDS is an uphill battle where the total concentration is minorities and children," said McDonald.

Even though HIV continues to affect minorities there are people who strive to support the brave and the underprivileged and inform greater numbers of people as a key defense to prevention.

"AIDS is a disease, much like a war that we have to try to get rid of," said Adams.