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UH College of Medicine organizations, groups raise period poverty awareness

Jose Gonzalez-Campelo/The Cougar

UH’s Period Education Project chapter and the Women’s Health Interest Group will be joining the Alliance for Period Supplies to commemorate Period Poverty Awareness Week that runs through May 20-28, 2024. 

As many as two out of five people are affected by period poverty in the U.S. With one out of four menstruating people struggling to afford period products, Period Poverty Awareness Week works to dismantle the stigma surrounding menstrual cycles. 

“Our mission is to improve health equity and eliminate disparities,” said senior medical student Carolina Venturi who is the Chief Period Pro, or more commonly referred to as President, of the Period Education Project chapter at UH. “Increasing awareness of menstruation and knowledge decreases stigma. All of those things speak to the same principles.”

The Period Education Project is a national nonprofit organization that spreads awareness through PEP rallies which the UH chapter has hosted. Through these hour-long sessions, they teach attendees about the interior and exterior anatomy of people with periods, menstrual cycles and different options to manage them including tampons, pads and cups. 

Recently, the Women’s Health Interest group at UH that interlaps with a lot of Period Education Project members and their goals, teamed up and donated around 300 to 400 period products to Stephen F. Austin High School in February. 

For Period Poverty Awareness Week, the Period Education Project chapter and the Women’s Health Interest Group will be hosting several events that could be found at their Instagram @whighouston

Some events include myth-busters that challenge true or false statements about menstrual cycles, a virtual PEP rally with the Florida State University, flow-fessions where people can share anonymous first period or embarrassing stories that will be compiled into a blog post and a period party with giveaways at the College of Medicine. 

To add on, the Period Education Project reached out to The College of Medicine Office of Student Affairs to make free period products available for students at the college. Through the chapter’s efforts, it is now part of the yearly budget to provide these products in its learning communities. 

“We are still working on getting it funded for faculty and staff so that there are free vending machines of these products,” Venturi said. 

To get in contact with the Period Education Project chapter or the Women’s Health Interest Group, students can email [email protected] or Venturi directly at [email protected].

[email protected]

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