LGBTQ Resource Center to participate in AIDS Walk
For the first time since the 2010 creation of the LGBTQ Resource Center at UH, the center will be participating in the AIDS Walk Houston.
The LGBTQ Resource Center was chosen to be a benefiting agency and aims to raise $5,000 or more for both the AIDS Foundation Houston and the center itself.
“HIV and AIDS (especially) are stigmatized a lot, and I think that when we do events like the AIDS Walk, it gets attention,” said accounting junior Oscar Alvarez. “The hope is that we remove the stigmatization from people’s mind and then they can be more understanding of what it is to live with HIV positive or to have AIDS.”
Lorraine Schroeder, the director of the LGBTQ Resource Center, said that creating awareness is important for the UH community because the college-age group is the population most affected by the infection.
“By raising money for (the AIDS Foundation Houston), the part that we do is educate people about what the risks are and how to be safer — so the prevention of this disease,” Schroeder said. “But if you do happen to still get it, what your resources are and how to get treatment.”
So far, $1,690 of the $5,000 goal has been earned. The deadline to raise funds is April 14 at 5 p.m. All benefiting agencies are eligible to keep 70 percent of the funds raised, and the other 30 percent will benefit the AIDS Foundation Houston.
“Seventy percent of the funds that we raise would go specifically towards HIV and AIDS education and programming here on campus,” said Jamie Gonzales, the program coordinator at the LGBTQ Resource Center.
There are 114 teams registered for AIDS Walk Houston, and the LGBTQ Resource Center is currently positioned in the top five of the closest teams to reaching their goal.
Gonzales wants to encourage students and the wider UH community to walk with them. They are also looking for donors, even if they can only give a few dollars.
“There is no amount too small that wouldn’t make a difference,” Gonzales said.
The march will take place on Sunday, March 5 at Sam Houston Park downtown. Registration will begin at 12 p.m., the walk will begin at 1 p.m. and at 2 p.m., post-walk festivities will be held.
“I think it is important that other people who are not in the LGBTQ community go, because the virus does not only affect people in the LGBTQ community,” Alvarez said. “The virus does not know gender, race, color. It is a virus, and it affects everyone.”