Second Year Civil Engineering Major
My first IMPACT trip was the Environmental Justice trip to Fort Myers, Florida my freshman year. Initially, I didn’t think I would learn much because I was already knowledgeable on sustainability, however looking at environmental justice through different lenses showed me that I hardly knew anything! I fell in love with how inclusive and informational my trip was, and loved the focus IMPACT puts on building sustainable relationships with their service sites. I’m excited to continue my involvement with this organization and to facilitate the kinds of conversations that made me think deeper not only on my trip, but in my day to day life.
Why HIV/AIDS awareness?
I became passionate about HIV/AIDS awareness recently after realizing the stigma surrounding it and STDs in general. I noticed how much discrimination can affect minorities in getting tested and getting treatment and like all trip focuses, it’s an extremely intersectional issue with many facets. I hope that by education and conversation, we will be able to break down these stigmas!
Third Year Music Education Major
I found out about IMPACT through one of my best friends! The trip that she went on completely changed her life and she told me that I HAD to go on one of the many trips next year. My sophomore year, I went on the LGBTQ+ Awareness & Advocacy trip to Atlanta, GA. This trip completely changed my perspectives on so many issues that a community that I was part of faced. The emphasis on the history of the community and on what sustainable service would be helpful and effective made me fall in love with this trip. I am involved with IMPACT because I think that education and awareness are enormously effective and being a site leader is a unique opportunity to both research and educate a group of peers about a community!
Why HIV/AIDS awareness?
I am so excited to co-lead this year’s trip to Memphis, TN to serve the HIV/AIDS community! This is an issue that I am passionate about researching and I think that this trip can cover so much ground because HIV/AIDS affects so many people and shows up in many different communities in SUCH diverse ways. This trip will allow Tess and I to use research to break down many common misconceptions about HIV/AIDS and also bring awareness to hopefully tear down many associated stigmas surrounding the issue, also.
AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome)- the
most severe stage of HIV where the infected
individual's immune system is weakened and they
are much more likely to contract severe
ART (antiretroviral therapy)- a treatment that
suppresses or stops a retrovirus like HIV
CD4 Cells - also called T cells, they play an
important role in fighting off infections and
HIV(human immunodeficiency virus)-attacks the
body's CD4 cells
MSM - Male to male (sexual contact)
“PLWH” - “Persons Living With HIV”
Perinatal HIV - HIV transmission that happens
during childbirth, pregnancy, and breastfeeding
PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis)- starting ART
within 72 hours of possibly being exposed to
PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis)- a way for
people to prevent HIV by taking a pill everyday
STD - sexually transmitted disease
STI - sexually transmitted infection
Stigmatization - the action of describing or
regarding someone or something as worthy of
disgrace or great disapproval
In 2017, the South accounted for 52% of HIV diagnoses in the United States, followed by the West at 19%.
WHAT DOES THIS ISSUE LOOK LIKE IN GEORGIA?
70% of the 38,739 new HIV diagnoses in the US in 2017 were among gay and bisexual men.
This article goes deeper into the link between HIV/AIDS and the LGBTQ+ community.