By Maddie Cox
Three people who shared the common goal of promoting health risk education and awareness presented to a small group of students and faculty in an event called “Emphasizing Safety and Prevention” on Thursday in the Library Auditorium. Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. sponsored the event. The featured speakers included Vincent Pearson M.D., Trina L. Gipson-Jones, assistant professor of the College’s school of Nursing, and Colleen Thornton of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
“HIV is a beast set on those who don’t know how to protect themselves. What we are here to do is arm you with this news,” Gipson-Jones said during her presentation, called the “Beauty and the Beast of HIV and AIDS.”
She discussed the importance of education of this disease, as there are now approximately 33.4 million people in the world living with HIV, including about 2.1 million children.
“Sometimes we all have that ‘it can’t be me’ syndrome, but it can be you. It can be anyone,” Gipson-Jones said.
Pearson discussed health issues in young African-American men. He explained the top causes of death in New Jersey for the group include unintentional injuries, homicide, hypertension, diabetes and testicular and prostate cancer. According to Pearson, these causes of death are largely due to cultural and socio-economical reasons.
Thornton gave a presentation titled “Understanding Blood Cancers.” She informed the audience about the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
“The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society is the World’s largest voluntary health agency dedicated to funding blood cancer research and providing education and patient services,” she said.
Thornoton also said the society is responsible for raising 600 million dollars of research for blood cancer. The society has family support groups, patient financial aid, patient services and research programs.
“It was a good program, some stuff you never hear about, there are always myths, but it was good to have a discussion, to be able to talk to our peers and professors,” Maurisa Thomas, president of Alpha Kappa Alpha and senior history and secondary education major, said.
“It was very informative. Some of these topics you are fed, but we got a chance to interact,” said Rochelle Prevard, a junior open options major.