An assistant professor in the UMD Department of Political Science talked about the heroic actions of saving a falling projection screen during a recent presentation at the College of St. Scholastica.
This is probably not what Jeremy R. Youde had planned in his politics of AIDS speech, but it seemed to definitely gain the attention of the audience.
Since it is AIDS Awareness Week at CSS, Youde presented his findings on the effects of aids in Sub-Saharan Africa to a capacity crowd at the CSS Intercultural Center.
“We have cautious optimism on this issue because we have to make sure that we continue the awareness of aids even if we are seeing progress,” Youde said.
Youde stressed this concept of cautious optimism because the rate of people infected with AIDS is slowing down due to anti-viral drugs, but this decline in infections can easily turn around because of the recession that we are in.
Sub-Saharan Africa has the highest rate of adults and children infected with HIV at 22.5 million. The rest of the world has 10.8 million combined, and that is why Youde focused his presentation on Sub-Saharan Africa specifically.
The reason that the rate of new infections is slowing down is because some of the people who need the anti-viral drugs now have the ability to obtain them.
“With these drugs, we have seen a very positive step,” Youde said.
After Youde was finished with his speech, a woman from Kenya concluded the presentation by talking about the difficulties the AIDS disease presents to women in Africa.
Margaret N Kamau, associate professor in the UMD Women’s Studies Department, began her speech by stating that her brother was infected with AIDS.
This is part of the reason why Kamau is trying to raise awareness of AIDS and the effects that it has on families.Kamau focused the majority of her presentation about why Africa has such high rates of HIV and AIDS.
“Sex education is not taught in very well in Africa,” Kamau said. She believes that this lack of information is a major reason for the extremely high rates of HIV and AIDS in Africa.
Another point that Kamau stressed was that women have higher rates of infection because infected men have many wives and women are dying because of lack of power, lack of information, and stress. Because women have higher rates of HIV and Aids, Kamau talked about what needs to be done to alleviate the situation.
“We need to use more money to empower women in education,” Kamau said. Providing more resources would help the rates of infected African’s greatly, Kamau said.
Kamau concluded her speech by saying that we can help continue the positives steps if we continue to raise awareness and continue to raise funding.
Despite all the help that we can contribute to the problem of HIV and AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa, Kamau left by saying, “African people need to stand up for themselves when it comes to the issue of AIDS.”