Sorority to host free HIV testing

Roberto Hodge, Multicultural Editor

A medical team from the Champaign-Urbana Public Health Department will be giving students free and confidential HIV testing at 10 a.m. Wednesday in the Arcola/Tuscola Room of the Martin Luther King Jr. University Union.

Kelsey Hosea, the vice president of Delta Sigma Theta, said her sorority has hosted Brothers and Sisters United Against HIV for nine years.

HIV is a virus that lowers the immune system killing the T-cells that help fight off infections. Over time, this becomes AIDS, or acquired immune deficiency syndrome.

Brothers and Sisters United Against HIV is a program by the Illinois Department of Public Health, which promotes HIV and AIDS awareness among minority communities.

Hosea said even though the event is hosted by their organization, it is entirely confidential and not performed by the sorority. The health department will do a saliva test and give students immediate results.

Despite doing the event for nearly 10 years, nothing new has been added, but the process of getting results has become quicker, Hosea said.

More than 1.2 million people are living with the HIV infection in the United States with the most at-risk groups being gay or bisexual males and African-Americans, according to the website.

Hosea said a lot of stereotypes go along with the disease, so not only is it important to get tested if one is sexually active, but it is also important for everyone to be educated on the disease and know whom they can talk to.

“On a college campus, sometimes we might not be aware of the resources available,” Hosea said.


Roberto Hodge can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].