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Cascade to observe World AIDS Day Dec. 1

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On Dec. 1, Cascade Campus faculty, staff and students are teaming up with the Portland Area Global AIDS Commission (PAGAC) and local sponsors for a special observance of World AIDS Day.

World AIDS Day, held each year on Dec 1, is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV (the virus that causes AIDS), show their support for people living with HIV and to commemorate people who have died. The event will run from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the campus’ Moriarty Auditorium, Cafeteria, and campus quad (all sites are located at 705 N. Killingsworth St.).

Joining Cascade Campus and PAGAC to sponsor the event are the Oregon Health & Sciences University Global Health Center and CARE, a leading global humanitarian organization.

Between 1981 and 2007, more than 25 million people have died from this virus. There are currently more than 90,000 people in the world living with AIDS, and an estimated additional 33.3 million people have HIV. This is one of the most destructive pandemics in human history.

“Our hope is that the World AIDS Day event will better inform the campus and community about the local and global impact of the disease, recent advancements in its treatment, how to prevent its transmission, and how to support affected individuals and communities,” said Shari Rochelle, coordinator of the Bridges to Baccalaureate program at Cascade and an organizer of the World AIDS day observance.

Starting at noon, a selection of short films from the Web site Faces of AIDS will be shown in the Moriarty Auditorium (corner of North Killingsworth Street and Albina Avenue), accompanied by comments from Dayna Morrison. Ms. Morrison holds a master’s degree in International Public Health and Infectious Disease from the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. She serves as director of HIV Services at the Quest Center for Integrative Health and Coordinator of the LGBTQ Health Coalition of the Columbia-Willamette, where she ensures access to mental health and supportive services for people living with HIV/AIDS.

Morrison has worked in the field of HIV for over 12 years both locally and abroad, and has endeavored to ensure the needs of HIV-positive women and their children are supported through funding, community-based programming and political advocacy. She currently manages the only women-centered support services for HIV+ women living in Oregon and SW Washington.

At the same time in the Campus Cafeteria, a panel of speakers will discuss both the global and local implications of the AIDS epidemic. Members of the panel include representatives from Basic Rights Oregon, Cascade AIDS Project, AIDS in Zambia, the PCC African Students Association, and more.

A number of local organizations will also be on hand in the Student Center with information about AIDS prevention and other health issues. Participating groups include PAGAC, the OHSU Global Health Center, and many more.

For more information call Rochelle at 971-722-5076.

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