Sorority raises awareness for HIV and AIDS

Melissa Berman

When Alpha Kappa Alpha members saw the statistics for HIV and AIDS in the African American community, they knew they had to do something.

To increase awareness of the prevalence of HIV and AIDS in the African American community, the sorority, which was founded by African American women, hosted a gala Thursday night as part of its philanthropic efforts.

“It is a widespread epidemic that disproportionately affects us, and although we are a sorority that does tailor to all mankind, we did want to focus on something that had a drastic impact on the African American community as a whole,” sorority president Mercedes McKay said.

According to 2011 statistics from the Center for Disease Control, African Americans account for 47 percent of diagnoses for HIV, despite making up 12 percent of the population.

McKay said she hopes the event will raise awareness for HIV and AIDS, which she said might not be a point of concern for some college students.

 “It is important to bring awareness to college students because although this virus can be prevented in many different ways and it can be slowed down and there ways of living with it, it’s still a huge concern,” she said.