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Sunday, September 24, 2023


Students help HIV victims

What began in 2002 as a charitable act in Kenya by Leigh Blake, Keep a Child Alive is now a global organization that has a chapter at UH.

‘This was one of the few organizations that was only really concerned with providing aid, without all the politics like others,’ KCA-UH Market Chair Norman Gregory said.

KCA is a non-profit charity organization that provides anti-retroviral treatment to those affected by HIV/AIDS in Africa and India.

‘The ads reiterate that every dollar raised and every hour volunteered went directly toward to helping HIV/AIDS victims,’ Gregory said.

KCA opened its chapter at UH during the Fall 2009 semester and the organization has been focusing on increasing its campus exposure, creating fundraising activities and providing educational opportunities to promote awareness of the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

In addition to their Twitter and Facebook pages, KCA-UH members have been wearing black shirts labeled ‘HIV Positive’ in large, white print around campus as part of the group’s ‘Are You HIV Positive’ campaign.

Wearing the shirts was supposed to emphasize that ‘AIDS has no face,’ KCA-UH Vice President Brittany Osazuwa said. ‘(AIDS) is not assigned to a specific ethnicity. It’s a global thing.’

An ‘Are You HIV Positive’ panel discussion will be held at UH for World AIDS Day on Dec. 1.

The panel will include people who wore the ‘HIV Positive’ shirts, and they will enlighten others on some of the reactions they received while wearing the shirts.

KCA-UH has multiple fundraising activities planned with a goal of raising $3,000 during the fall semester.

One of these fundraising ideas is the ‘Who Gives a Buck?’ campaign, which asks participants for $1 each. Each dollar is enough to keep one child alive by covering the cost of anti-retroviral treatment and providing medicine for children for one day.

‘Party for a Purpose,’ was a fundraiser held Thursday where attendees were asked for $1 to join a party held in Farish Hall; all the proceeds went directly to victims in Africa and India.

‘If you can go out to the club and party for yourself, why can’t you party for a cause?’ Osazuwa said.

KCA-UH raised nearly $400 at ‘Party for a Purpose’ to help HIV/AIDS victims.

‘If I have a dollar, I can help you. Why would I not help you?’ KCA-UH President Hannah McConn said.

‘Real Talk,’ held Nov. 9, was an educational opportunity provided by KCA-UH that featured a panel of speakers including Kevin Anderson of the AIDS Foundation Houston.

KCA-UH will have more opportunities to help raise money for those affected by HIV/AIDS before the semester ends through bake sales, auctions and passing out ribbons and pins for awareness.

Members of KCA-UH said they joined because they liked that all of the work and effort goes to help others.

McConn said that even if someone is not directly affected by the AIDS epidemic, ‘we need to take charge and change.

‘As human beings, it should be in us to care about other people. When you are fortunate and blessed, how can you not want to help?’

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