For over two decades, Alpha Phi Omega has been doing its part to help educate people about HIV and AIDS.
The fraternity is hosting its 21st annual Multicultural Aids Awareness Day, or MAAD, in the Malcolm X Plaza April 13 to help students and the surrounding community learn about HIV and AIDS.
Raymond Yu, MAAD chair, said it’s important to spread awareness about HIV and AIDS because it is a worldwide epidemic. He said not everyone around the world knows about these infectious diseases, including his parents.
“My parents came from China, and they don’t even really know what HIV/AIDS is,” Yu said.
According to Yu, the organization educates by using fun activities to capture people’s attention and create incentive. In the past, they’ve handed out bingo cards at each booth, and once someone gets a stamp from each table they can redeem a slice of pizza at the main tent.
“That’ll increase the likelihood of someone going around to learn about things related to HIV/AIDS,” Yu said. “Because who doesn’t like free pizza?”
According to last year’s Facebook event page, the organization also offered free HIV testing, cultural performances, speakers, condom and ribbon giveaways, and education workshops.
Deion Dela Paz, MAAD co-chair, is in charge of booking special performances.
“We usually have cultural performances to show that this is a worldwide epidemic and that we stand together as a whole,” Dela Paz said.
Dela Paz said she’s participated in the event for two years and loves the idea of spreading awareness about HIV and AIDS.
“I know people who really have no idea about AIDS/HIV… it’s amazing knowing I’m informing people about this,” Dela Paz said.
Yu said he became involved with this event because he feels that he is giving back to the community. By teaching others about these diseases, he can help save lives.
“I feel like HIV/AIDS is something a lot of people look over,” Yu said. “They think that it’s something they can never get or it’s something that is easily cured.”