Service Learning draws student support for AIDS Walk

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Karen Shilyan, business manager

Service Learning encourages students to participate in the annual walkathon fundraiser AIDS Walk, which will take place Sunday, Oct. 12 at West Hollywood Park. For years, students have taken an active role in the fundraising efforts.

Davina Shoumer and Aerin Kim plan the AIDS Walk event.  Photo by: Karen Shilyan
Davina Shoumer and Aerin Kim plan the AIDS Walk event.
Photo by: Karen Shilyan

The walk began as a way to create awareness for HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) and AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome), which is the final stage of HIV. The disease is infamous for the biased stigma that it had been transmitted purely through homosexuals. The stigma and discrimination undermined prevention, treatment and care of people living with HIV and AIDS.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon shared his insight on the effects of stigma with AVERT, an organization dedicated to providing information about the diseases.

“Stigma remains the single most important barrier to public action. It is the main reason why too many people are afraid to see a doctor to determine whether they have the disease, or to seek treatment if so,” Ban Ki Moon said. “It helps make AIDS the silent killer, because people fear the social disgrace of speaking about it, or taking easily available precautions. Stigma is a chief reason why the AIDS epidemic continues to devastate societies around the world.”

Service Learning’s co-host of the event, junior Audrey Levy, hopes to make the student body more aware of the disease and its victims.

“[Our goal is] to help raise awareness for the millions of people who suffer from HIV and AIDS. Also, to help raise money in search for a cure,” Levy said.

In the past, Service Learning has brought together over 100 students, including their class of 30, to participate in the walk. This year, they are aiming for at least 40 students to participate, and to raise $250 in their class alone.

Students are encouraged to donate to the cause if they have the funds, while registering and participating in the walk is free. To register, click here, and be sure to join the Beverly Hills High School team. To find out more information about the event, check out Service Learning’s Facebook event.

The sign in time will be at 8:30 a.m. The opening ceremony will take place at 9:15 a.m. and the walk itself will begin at 10:30 a.m.

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