North Carolina Newspapers

    PAGE 4 — THE DECREE — JANUARY 27,1989
Students here not immune from AIDS
By JANICE STUMP
Why are students so careless
when it comes to major health issues?
We have now had the second annual
observance of “AIDS Awareness
Week,” and although there was an at
tendance at each event, the numbers
were quite small.
Last year students told me they
were tired of hearing about AIDS.
I’m tired of worrying about AIDS
myself, but I know there is a reason to
be concerned. No, we do not have any
diagnosed case of AIDS, ARC or
HIV positive on our campus that we
know of. I want students to know that >
other campus nurses in larger schools
in North Carolina can no longer make
that statement. We will be next. The
statistics we are getting makes it very
apparent that the smaller schools will
be dealing with AIDS in the near fu
ture. It is estimated that one in every
300 students is carrying the AIDS
virus. Considering we have about
1,000 people on campus during the
day — anyone can calculate this math
problem quickly. I send one or two
people in for testing monthly. There
are people here who are concerned
enough to see if they are a carrier.
Seldom does a day go by in my office
that I don’t hear of some type of high-
risk AIDS behavior. Think about that
— almost every day.
Let’s check your knowledge of
AIDS. There is no cure and there is
no vaccine. When AIDS enters the
blpodstream, it attacks the T-cells
and this causes the body to produce
antibodies to try to defend itself
against the disease. For some un
known reason, these antibodies do
not work. They are unable to destroy
the virus. Because the AIDS virus
destroys the immune system, the
body is attacked by other conditions
called Opportunistic Diseases which
a normal, healthy person would not
experience. These diseases are the
actual killers of an AIDS victim.
Example of these diseases are TB, a
type of cancer called Kaposis Sar
coma and a type of pneumonia, Pneu
mocystis Carinii.
The symptoms of AIDS are much
the same as the symptoms of the vi
rus over 250 people experienced on
campus a few weeks ago. Loss of ap
petite, fever, night sweats, diarrhea,
tiredness, swollen lymph nodes, lack
of resistance, rash and weight loss
are symptoms of AIDS in the early
stages. As the virus progresses then
the symptoms are more severe and
the opportunistic diseases set in and
the victim dies. If the AIDS victim
lives longer than expected, the virus
attacks the nervous system and there
is damage to the brain. This may
develop over years and is seen as '
memory loss, indifference, loss of
coordination, partial paralysis or a
mental disorder. An AIDS victim can
have one, two or all three of the
above mentioned symptoms.
There is another condition you
need to be aware of, AIDS Related
Complex (ARC.) Patients with ARC
have mild forms of AIDS symptoms
without the opportunistic diseases.
ARC patients will eventually de
velop “full-blown” AIDS.
ARC patients are also HIV pxjsi-
tive. That is, if they take the AIDS
blood test AIDS antibodies will show
up in their blood. This means they
can spread the AIDS virus to anyone
they have intimate contact with.
Take a minute and realize that these
people may not even be tested, yet —
they may feel sick and just think it’s a
virus or a really awful cold. These
people may be having relationship
without protecting their partner and
then their partners have a new rela
tionship and they don’t use protec
tion, either. Can you see how AIDS is
not just a disease of homosexual and,
IV drug users?
You must understand that this
disease is a threat to you only if you
have a specific type of behavior. If
you exhibit the behavior listed below
then you should be tested for HIV
antibodies:
1. Sexually active with more than
one pjerson or sex with a prostitute,
male or female.
2. IV drug user or a sexual rela
tionship with someone you know or
suspect of a drug using.
3. Homosexual relationship or a
relationship with a bi-sexual partner.
4. If you have become pregnant or
contacted a venereal disease, you
could have contacted AIDS with the
behavior you’re exhibiting.
5. Any sexual activity without a
condom and a spermaticide is high
risk.
6. If you use alcohol or drugs you
run a risk of losing control and not
knowing what you are doing or who
you are with.
You can obtain a free AIDS test at
the Rocky Mount Health Department
any Thursday from 1:30 to 2:30. This
is the health department on Thomas
Street. The confidential test will
screen you from your first sexual re
lationship up to the last three months.
The test cannot check behavior
within the last three months. You
must wait three months following
your last experience with no activity
to be certain you are AIDS free.
When you test negative, you must be
sure to keep yourself that way by
either safe sex or no sex. These are
your only options. If you test posi
tive, you must protect others from the
disease and your health agency that
gave you the test will help you learn
how.
You can not get AIDS from ac
tivities of daily living. You will not
get AIDS from a toilet, eating uten
sils, swimming pools, doorknobs,
hugging, shaking hands, etc. This is
called casual contact. It is not spread
by cat scratches or mosquito bites.
You cannot get AIDS from donating
blood. It is only by intimate contact
that AIDS is spread. If we have an
AIDS or ARC victim on campus, you
will not get the disease from them
unless you are intimate.
If you have not been sexually ac
tive this is not the time to feel pres
stffed to become active. If you have
never been sexually active and don’"
use IV drugs please don’t think AIDS
will never enter your life. Your
chances of losing a friend or loved
one to this disease is high.
Even if you don’t lose someone,
we will all be affected financially. In
1991 (three years), it is estimated that
we will be dealing with 270,000
AIDS victims. Supportive services
for these people will cost us between
$8 to $ 16 billion. This number can be
reduced with education and preven
tion. As an educated person others
will exp>ect you to have this knowl
edge and share it. As a caring, re
sponsible person, we expect you to
use appropriate behavior.
For more information contact the
right source. Please do not depend on
Tabloids. Such agencies as the U.S.
Department of Health and Human
Services, Red Cross, Public Health
Services are knowledgeable and up
to the minute. Phone numbers suci
as AIDS Hotline 1-800-342-2437
and national AIDS Network at 202-
546-2424 can get you information
quickly. Dr. C. Everett Koop, the
Surgeon General, writes many ar
ticles in national magazines, he is our
top health official. Any article from
the C.D.C. (Center for Communi
cable Disease Control) in Georgia
will be responsible, up-to-date and
worth reading.
Stop by your Student Health cen
ter. We have information we would
be happy to share. All of us together
can change the statistics and help
save lives.
KING CELEBRATION—Student Government Association Presi
dent Bobbie Jones embraces SGA Senator Amy Seate during
celebrations commemorating Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday.
See stories on page 1. (Photo by K.A.S.)
F
orce
Distance
Make It Work
CAREER PLANNING • COOPERATIVE EDUCATION
HARDEE'S is recruiting students, from all majors, looking for a fast career track. Presentation
Monday, Jan. 30, at 10:30 a.m., in the Student Activities Center.
PEEBLES deparunent stores are recruiting May graduates for their Management Training Pro
gram. Interview appointments must be arranged in Cooperative Education/Career Planning Depart
ment by Jan. 30!
FEDERAL GOVERNMENT summer job applicatioiis due now! Check on positions with Coop
erative Education/Career Planning.
INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE recruiting for full-time positions on Feb. 22,10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Seniors only! See Career Planning by Feb. 1.
FEBRUARY WORKSHOPS — 6 p.m., Student Activities Center;
Feb. 7 — Overview of Cooperative Education/Career Planning; student presenters.
Feb. 13 —Resume writing: Your Personal Commercial.
Feb. 22 — Dress for Success: Fashion Show.
Feb. 28 — Interviewing Skills: Winning the Game.
PLANTERS BANK is still accepting applications for full-time positions. See Mrs. Elliott as soon
as possible.
SENIORS — Watch your mail for our letter.
    

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