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The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

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Organizations educate students

Saturday, Dec. 1, was World AIDS Day, and thanks to the efforts of the Health Promotions Office, OUTlook, Latino Student Union and Black Student Union, students were provided with a myriad of opportunities to become informed about the risk of HIV and AIDS.

OUTlook organized the World AIDS benefit dance; the Latino Student Union organized the display of the AIDS quilt, which can be seen from Monday, Dec. 3 to Friday, Dec. 7 in Hedgcock; and the Black Student Union organized the HIV/AIDS quiz bowl and the free HIV testing that took place on Thursday, Dec. 6.

All of these events and services bring to light the importance of HIV/AIDS awareness among college students, a young demographic that experiences a higher frequency of HIV diagnosis in Michigan.

According to the Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH), an average of 803 new cases of HIV were reported between 2006 and 2010.

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MDCH estimates that there are 19,500 people living in Michigan with HIV as of January 2011.

The MDCH report indicated that “the rate of new HIV diagnoses increased significantly among persons 20 to 24 years of age (an average of 12 percent per year) and among those 25 to 29 years of age (7 percent per year).”

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that there are 1.1 million people living in the United States with HIV, though one in five are unaware that they are infected.

While HIV/AIDS affects many, blacks experience the heaviest burden of HIV. The CDC reported that in 2009, blacks accounted for 44 percent of new HIV infections, while Latinos accounted for 20 percent of new HIV infections.

The North Wind staff applauds the efforts of OUTlook, the Latino Student Union, the Black Student Union and the Health Promotion Office.

HIV/AIDS is an epidemic that affects a younger demographic in the United States, and spreading awareness is crucial to decreasing the number of new HIV infections every year.

Other organizations on campus should emulate the efforts of these groups.

When student organizations bring to light issues and events that are important to the student body, while presenting them in a way that is entertaining and engaging, it is beneficial to Northern’s community.

Events like this help NMU to strive further toward the goal to be a university that is highly involved with larger communities (local, state, regional, national and global) for the mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge and resources in a context of partnership and reciprocity, according to the standards of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

Though HIV and AIDS has caused so much heartache and damage in the lives of many individuals, the opportunity to stop the spread of this disease rests with those who are educated about and aware of HIV/AIDS.

Thanks to our fellow students for presenting an issue that is important to the future of many and congratulate these individuals for their service to NMU students.

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