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Fighting the epidemic with education

Thanks to the actions of a few motivated organizers, the University community observed World AIDS Day yesterday. Students and community members shared their personal experiences with each other to mourn the loss of loved ones in an emotionally supportive environment. Although it is often difficult to confront such a painful issue, it is important that we use this opportunity to ensure that such a terrible epidemic does not slide to the back burner of public attention. AIDS continues to spread both around the world and in our own country, yet the media attention it receives seems to have reached a plateau. Similarly, medical advancements may have given some the false impression that technology has already defeated the disease. This is a misconception that must be corrected.

More public discussion about the threat of AIDS is not enough to solve the epidemic. While education has its limits as a tool for social change, the Maroon believes the efforts to inform others about AIDS has not yet approached that limit. As students—not only in the classroom, but more importantly in the greater community—we have a responsibility to lead the world in both academic pursuits and social issues.

Perhaps more directly, the college population is a part of society at high risk to contract HIV. It is therefore perilous to avoid the discussion—if not for others, at least for our own safety. We must remember that AIDS is not contained on some foreign coast: it must be combated here at home through our own attitudes and actions.

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