HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) targets and compromises the immune system to the point where the body cannot fight other infections. AIDS refers to the symptoms and illnesses that occurs at the final stage of HIV infection. More than 1.2 million Americans in the world are struggling with an HIV infection, and almost 1 in 8 people are unaware of it. HIV progression varies depending on age, health, and background. The purpose of the Remember the Ribbon (HIV/AIDS) initiative is to promote awareness, education, and prevention of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, especially within minority populations. The initiative focuses on eliminating the stigma associated with HIV, while educating students and the general public about the risks, complications, prevention measures, and available resources. Remember the Ribbon also observes national HIV/AIDS awareness days and disseminate insightful messages through our social media pages. In the future, the initiative hopes to reach more individuals outside of the Rutgers community through collaborative outreach events.
Our Remember the Ribbon committee created a movie night de-stress event! Students came and watched the film, The Normal Heart, to learn about HIV/AIDs while de-stressing from the first round of exams. The event allowed some needed time off, while teaching us about some of the struggles patients undergoing the disease face.
No Stress November
A time for students to get together to relax and unwind during exams. Painting sessions and music performances throughout the night offer the chance for students to take some deserved time off. All proceeds from the night went to the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School AIDS Program!
Livingston Student Center Tabling
We taught about HIV/AIDS facts, had interactive games with prizes, and gave red ribbon sto raise awareness for World AIDS Day! We will also participated in the Red Ribbon Campaign so students could color in a blank ribbon and post on their social media.
World AIDS Day Tabling at College Avenue
On World AIDS day, our RTR co-chairs and committee members spoke to students passing by in the College Avenue campus center about HIV/AIDS. Students played interactive games and quizzes that tested their current knowledge about HIV/AIDS and were awarded candy for every correct answer. We used an informative tri-fold and infographics to educate students. In addition, we passed out hand-made red ribbons for students to wear and spread awareness about World AIDS day.
Perth Amboy Walgreens Outreach Event
Our RTR co-chairs counseled and educated patients at Walgreens regarding HIV/AIDS on World AIDS day. We made candy bags to represent and raise awareness about the daily medication burden for an average AIDS patient. In addition, we handed out infographics and other important information.
No Stress November
In collaboration with Rutgers Children’s AIDs Network, we hosted a stress management event where students had the opportunity to paint mason jars with an instructor, listen to music, eat and learn about HIV/AIDS. We had the opportunity to table and educate students about HIV/AIDS and pass out infographics. The event was a fundraiser for the Robert Wood Johnson AIDS Program
HIV: A New Perspective
The goal for this event was to increase awareness about the past and present stigmas associated with HIV/AIDS and how students can have an impact in the future to end these stigmas. The guest speakers included a physician who worked closely with HIV/AIDS patients and a Prevention with Positives and Wellness navigator from Hyacinth AIDS foundation. We also arranged to have free HIV/AIDS testing for students after the event. This event was given the national RTR chapter spotlight status in March.
Hyacinth AIDS Foundation
Hyacinth AIDS Foundation is a local non-profit organization that our SNPhA chapter works with to promote HIV/AIDS awareness and end the stigma against HIV/AIDS. Our fundraising efforts and donations during World AIDS Day go towards this organization.
We held a charity volleyball tournament in the spring. We reached out to other organizations in pharmacy school and fraternities to participate. Eight teams of six students competed in the tournament and the winning team received gift-cards and the rest was donated to Hyacinth AIDS Foundation.
Quest for Life Seminar
We participated in a seminar in collaboration with the Rutgers Children’s AIDS network to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS. The audience was primarily healthcare professionals from various organizations in the Rutgers community. The speakers included an infectious disease physician and a patient to speak about his experience and struggles. After the seminar, free HIV testing was provided in a separate room.
Yes We Can Coffeehouse
In an effort to raise money for the Robert Wood Johnson AIDS Program, our RTR chairs and Rutgers Children’s AIDS network collaborated to host a coffeehouse. Performances included individual singers, bands, acapella groups, and more. In addition, a patient currently struggling with AIDS spoke about her struggles and journey.