Students Against the Spread of HIV/AIDS-Access to Rapid Tests hosted “Tea Time: Girl if you only knew” inside Florida A&M’s Grand Ballroom to round up Women’s Conference Week on Friday.
Sharronda James, president of FAMU’s chapter of SASHA-ARTs, said the event was aimed at women and intended to bring awareness to the community and educate students about how to maintain a healthy body and lifestyle.
“Tea Time is a girl talk and open discussion [about] this stigma that we have against HIV/AIDS in the black community,” said James, a graduating health science occupation and wellness student from Miami.
African-American women are disproportionately affected by HIV infection compared to women of other races and ethnicities, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC also estimates that one in 32 African-American women will be diagnosed with HIV infection at some point in their lifetimes.
Shakara Herron, a third-year pharmacy student from Clearwater, Fla., said the event was informative and reminded her not to pass judgment on people.
“It’s important not to judge a book by its cover and to know the facts of HIV/AIDS before you try to judge someone that has it,” Herron said.
Sheena Grayson, a junior pre-pharmacy student from Miami and HIV/AIDS advocate, said she appreciates how the spread of awareness is being exposed on campus.
“Being a close friend of someone with HIV/AIDS, I’m very passionate about our friendship,”
Grayson said. “People that don’t have HIV/AIDS should be more sensitive to those that have it and realize that it’s just a virus.”
As the event ended, a short film titled “Secrets” was viewed.
Alexandria Collins, a senior broadcast journalism student from Tallahassee who produced and directed the film, said she wanted to provide an honest, truthful portrayal of what people go through instead of hiding this issue that is prevalent in the community.
The film can be viewed at www.alexandriacollins.com.