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Artists unite to bring AIDS awareness

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Gordon Bates | The Daily Wildcat Gordon Bates / Arizona Daily Wildcat Hotel Congress hosts an evening of awareness as part of AIDS Week. Many people and performers gathered here last night to recognize the impact that HIV and AIDS have on friends familie and individuals.

The second annual World AIDS Day at Hotel Congress featured an eclectic mix of performers in support of AIDS awareness from 4 p.m.-11 p.m.


Ranging from hair metal cover band Metalhead to the hip hop dance crew The Human Project, all of the performers had one thing in common.

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""There are many people in our community who suffer from AIDS, and we came down here to support them,"" said Anton Smith, the director of The Human Project.


UA Dance alumni Claire Hancock and Ashley Bowman gave a performance on behalf of the Art.if.Act Dance Project in order to raise awareness for the Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation.


""We are here to raise awareness for our future benefit, ‘In the RED,'"" said Hancock.


In addition to performances from multiple groups, World AIDS Day provided an opportunity for groups like the Prevention Services Department at the Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation to educate AIDS Day participants on preventative measures and general information.


SAAF provides multiple educational programs to help those affected with HIV/AIDS and those who are at risk.


""We are all in this together,"" said Sue Whiteside, an organizer for SAAF. Whiteside said the goal of SAAF is to address the needs of those at risk for HIV/AIDS from a holistic perspective.


""I lost some close friends to AIDS, and I felt participating in this was the right thing to do,"" she said.


Heather Moroso, executive director of Positively Beautiful, an organization that helps women who are at risk or affected by HIV/AIDS, said she is trying to raise awareness in the heterosexual community.


""While HIV shows no discrimination, neither should prevention,"" she said.


Morose said approximately 25 percent of women with HIV/AIDS are unaware and that getting tested is the best means of prevention.

 


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