Photo by Sophie Kelner

The HYPE team encouraged students to sign the red ribbon showing support for people with AIDS.


Dec. 11, 2017

HYPE help brings awareness of HIV/AIDS

Cleveland State University’s Helping You Through Peer Education (HYPE) Team provided educational speakers and activities to increase student knowledge about HIV AIDS during its World AIDS Day event on Nov. 30.

HYPE Team’s event coincides with the World AIDS Day recognition that happens every Dec. 1. The World AIDS Day’s website indicates the event began in 1988.
Typically, the group runs a table in the InnerLink to promote awareness of World AIDS Day, but this year, it chose to put the event on a larger scale.

Team member Gabby Cvengros explained they wanted to have a better interaction with students about World AIDS Day this year in hopes students become involved with the Sexual Violence Prevention/Sexual Health module of HYPE.

“We’re just trying to get more interaction from more students and getting them in on the serious topics on campus rather than just doing the fun events,” Cvengros said. “We want people to come out, do our training, go through the peer education, kind of just get more of a student base on campus.”

Cvengros, a senior at Cleveland State, leads the Sexual Violence Prevention/Sexual Health sector of HYPE and planned the awareness event with other team member.

Community educators that worked with HYPE and Cleveland State in the past came to set up tables and to talk with students about HIV/AIDS, according to Cvengros.

Groups from the Cleveland area included Case Western Reserve and University Hospitals, Circle Health and Safe on the Scene.

Each group was invited to speak in front of the students in attendance about HIV/AIDS awareness.

Safe on the Scene began the discussion with Shavar Johnson presenting how HIV is transmitted. Circle Health talked about what HIV is and how to prevent contracting the disease.

Brooke Willis from Case Western and University Hospitals discussed the studies they conduct about prevention and infections.
Attending students talked with the members of the community to gain a better understanding of the diseases.

Cvengros explained the interactions between educators and Cleveland State students will better inform students on how to prevent infection.

“We want them (students) to gain comfortability of sexual health. It’s your responsibility,” Cvengros said. “You can do as you please, but you have to be aware of what you are doing and be safe and preventative.”

Additionally, students entered a raffle and built their own “prevention bags.”

To build a bag, students had to answer a question correctly about HIV/AIDS to receive a plastic bag they could fill with assorted contraceptives, bracelets, buttons and literature about sexual health.

Health and Wellness Coordinator Denise Keary trains and advising the HYPE Team.

The team hosts many events throughout the year — some of which include suicide prevention workshops, a mental health fair, alcohol awareness and bystander training for sexual assault.

HYPE Team’s events touch a variety of subjects but Keary stressed the importance students recognizing and learning from World AIDS Day.

“Nobody is invincible,” Keary said. “It can happen to anybody across all socioeconomic, all races, all ages. It can happen to anybody.”


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