Even non-celebrities can make a difference


Editorial Board

The Issue:While it may not seem like a problem at SDSU, AIDS is a global pandemic that does affect South Dakota.

The Stance:Every action, big or small, can have an impact in raising awareness.

Brookings, South Dakota-a small, safe community where those scary things you see on the news, like AIDS, do not happen.

Unfortunately, our “safe” world is just an illusion. In South Dakota, 325 people live with HIV/AIDS; 30 of those cases were diagnosed this year. While 325 people seems miniscule compared to the 40 million people with AIDS worldwide, that is still a lot of people for sweet home South Dakota.

Be smart about how you execute some of the decisions you make. If you choose to do drugs, use clean needles (although it’s safer to just not do drugs). Know whomever you have sex with and make sure you both disclose your entire history. If you think there is even a slight possibility you might have sex, always carry condom in your wallet or in your purse. Be aware that if you get really drunk or use drugs, things may happen that you might not remember. Get tested-Student Health only charges $23 for an HIV test.

Celebrities like Bono, Penelope Cruz, Kanye West and Oprah work with (RED), a product brand name, to raise money for the Global Fund, which is the leading financial supporter of programs that combat AIDS. You don’t have to be famous to make a difference-just go to The Union between 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. UPC has a table set up for Wea(RED) Week. By simply wearing something that is the color red, you can send a message and lend your support to ending this global social and medical issue. If you want to help fight AIDS during the other 51 weeks of a year, shop at stores that carry (RED) products. Up to 50 percent of profits from (RED) items goes to the Global Fund. Converse, Gap, Motorola, Emporio Armani, Apple and Hallmark all sell products with the (RED) label.

You don’t have to be rich, famous or ambitious to make a difference. Even the smallest action can make a powerful statement.