UT Students Mark World AIDS Day
UT sophomore Sergio Ramirez got tested for HIV this morning, rubbing a cotton swab around the inside of his mouth. This was his first time getting tested.
“I don’t know if I’m nervous or not, but I just wanted to know,” Ramirez said.
He said that the World AIDS Day programs held on campus today prompted him to take advantage of the free HIV testing. Other events included a student organization fair and a petition drive for medically accurate sex education in Texas schools.
The events were hosted by the World AIDS Day Coalition, made up of 12 student organizations.
“So many students just really don’t see HIV as a threat and don’t see it as something that affects their lives, but we know that HIV doesn’t discriminate,” said Mackenzie Massey, director of the coalition. “That’s something we really want to stress today, you never know who you’re sleeping with or who you’re sharing a needle with, and it’s really important that you take those measures to protect yourself because it does affect everybody.”
The coalition hoped to reach 500 UT students through the fair, and to test at least 100 students for HIV.
Thirty minutes after Ramirez took his test, he got the results: Negative.
“I felt relieved and I felt good to know that I’m HIV negative,” he said. “However, I did think about the people who get the positive results and how they must have felt. So yeah, it was kind of bittersweet that I’m okay, but others aren’t.”