HIV/AIDS Activist Visits Florida A & M

Marvelyn Brown, 26, a native of Nashville, Tenn., described herself as the All-American teenager. She had a social life and was heavily involved in sports. Brown was involved in a monogamous relationship with someone who would change her life forever. At 19, Brown contracted HIV.

Since then, Brown has become an HIV awareness advocate. She has told her stories at hundreds of universities across the country, including Florida A&M, where she was a guest speaker for the month-long AIDS initiative “Sexpectations.” Aside from being a motivational speaker, Brown published her autobiography “The Naked Truth: Young, Beautiful and (HIV) Positive” in 2008. [Read more on her website]

The department of health and physical education is partnering with the College of education, Bond Community Center and Big Bend Cares to present: “Who’s in your bed?” The event will feature Brown as well as Ronald Henderson, who serves as the statewide coordinator for HIV/AIDS in the Al Lawson Center.

FAMU’s health clinic as well as Big Bend Cares will conduct free rapid testing before the event begins. On site counseling will be provided by the FAMU counseling center as well as the newly renovated women’s center located at Sunshine Manor.

“It is disheartening to know that since the inception of this disease called HIV/AIDS it has now destroyed the fabric of our black community,” Dr. Maria Okeke, a professor of health sciences in the department of physical health and education, said. “The main reason we hold these events on campus is because the disease itself has disproportionately affected the African American and Hispanic community and is increasing amongst our college students.”

The reception starts at 5:30 p.m., and the event is from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.