Kaitlyn Simons, a newcomer to LAS, and every member of her group project went to the McKinley Health Center every two weeks to collect a condom package.

This is part of a project to meet the External Engagement requirement, GCL 146: Fundamental Causes: The HIV / AIDS Pandemic. The project ends on Friday from 11 to 14 o'clock. on the main square, to draw attention to the disease.

Simons said she attended the class because this topic is usually very confusing.

"People do not really have a clear idea of ​​what HIV / AIDS is, what groups of HIV / AIDS are affected, and how this disease spreads," Simons said.

This class was developed by sociology professor Cynthia Buckley for several years. Buckley founded the bachelor's degree program when she was a professor at the University of Texas at Austin. When she came to the university, she wanted to teach it again.

Buckley first taught it as a subject course in sociology. She was then invited to teach as part of the Vice Provost's Grand Challenge Learning Initiative.

This initiative aims to revitalize and redesign primary education, Buckley said.

Consequently, the class is limited to 25 freshers. Buckley said she deviates from exams and focuses on learning with experience. The class is also interdisciplinary, with students pursuing engineering, medical studies, law, history and more, according to Buckley.

The class is concerned with HIV / AIDS using the sociological background of Buckley. It deals with the transmission, various HIV strains and the geographical spread as well as the fundamental causes of diseases.

"We really focus on how the HIV / AIDS pandemic shows how social factors are the true drivers of international pandemics," said Buckley.

An important part of the course is the requirement for external involvement.

This task requires students to bring the knowledge they acquire from this class into their communities, whether local, national or global.

"It's the idea to use the knowledge you've acquired and harness it for the wider community," Buckley said.

The students have several opportunities to get involved. You can volunteer for organizations that raise awareness about HIV / AIDS. Some students write editors to raise awareness. This year, three student groups are working together to hold an event in quad.

A group organizes a back-sell to raise money for an AIDS orphans school in Uganda. Another group will hold a quiz on information on HIV / AIDS with low prices. The last group, Simons' group, will distribute free condoms that include facts about HIV / AIDS and safe sex.

The three projects are intended to raise awareness of three different topics.

Back-selling draws attention to the global problems and scale of the pandemic, the quiz quiz increases knowledge about how the disease can affect the home communities, and the distribution of the condom is in direct contact with the students to feed them on their own Draw attention to resources and their potential to take steps to protect themselves from this disease.

Aidan Berg, newcomer to AHS, is volunteering for this event. For his actual project, he decided to write a letter to JB Pritzker.

He said that Pritzker made several campaign promises regarding HIV / AIDS and LGBTQ adolescents, but believes that these promises are just as easy to forget as they are made. In addition to his letter, Berg will volunteer at the reconnaissance event on Friday.

Berg said that learning illness is not just a medical concern.

"Beyond public health," he said, "there is a lot of emphasis on stigma and discrimination and how it affects the spread of disease."

The groups hope to start a conversation on campus about this pandemic. Buckley said the US still has over 40,000 new cases of HIV every year. Simons said that the young adult population is most susceptible to HIV / AIDS.

Part of this project is the destigmatization of condoms and discussions about STIs. Buckley said it's really just another health decision that people need to make.

"You brush your teeth, right?" Buckley asked. "If you choose to be sexually active, there are also safe health measures that you can follow and should consider."

Berg said while hoping to leap and reach many students. If they can educate and influence only one person, this will be a success.

The class talks a lot about how people who are already disadvantaged are more prone to illness. Berg wants to draw attention to this problem through this event.

"When people start talking, stigma and discrimination disappear," he said. "They disappear because people are actually ready to talk about it."

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