1/28/2014 6:01:00 AM Art show is setting for HIV/AIDS discussion Wednesday
The exhibit “Brothers Forever: A Promise Fulfilled” will be the backdrop for a roundtable discussion on HIV/AIDS 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Prescott College Art Gallery in the Sam Hill Warehouse.
PRESCOTT - When it comes to a discussion on HIV and AIDS, where better to meet than in a room surrounded by the artwork of a family directly affected by the devastating illness?
The nonprofit group Northland Cares will present a free informational HIV and AIDS roundtable discussion 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 29, at the Prescott College Art Gallery in the Sam Hill Warehouse. The exhibit "Brothers Forever: A Promise Fulfilled" is currently on display there, featuring photography, paintings, woodwork and three-dimensional mosaics by Stephen and Glenn Smith.
Glenn Smith lost his life to the AIDS virus in 1994. Stephen Smith will be among the presenters for Wednesday's discussion, which is open to the public.
Gallery coordinator M Jennifer Chandler said to expect "casual conversation" at the roundtable, which will feature light refreshments and an opportunity to view the "Brothers Forever" exhibit.
"This was something they wanted to do together when Glenn was still alive. Though it didn't happen until 20 years after his death, it provides such a great opportunity for that contemporary dialogue on what HIV and AIDS means," Chandler said.
Chandler herself feels a close connection with Friday's discussion. Her mother helped begin one of the first AIDS organizations in Phoenix in 1986.
"I grew up there. I went to a lifetime's worth of funerals by the time I was 18, but also had a lot of dear, close relationships with people. Many of them came to be like family," Chandler said. "I'm afraid that the generation of students I interact with now are not as in tune with that epidemic. They don't understand the breadth of it and how devastating it really was. They may not necessarily be taking the proper precautions. This felt like the perfect opportunity for us to bring that conversation back."
Northland Cares Executive Director Tricia Goffena-Beyer, a former Prescott College employee, said the roundtable will include a 15-minute introduction designed to inform those in attendance on the history of HIV, current updates and the future of the virus.
"Then we will open it up to the participants to ask any questions they might have about HIV," she said. "HIV has changed a lot. The treatment has changed and, obviously, people are no longer dying. It is now more of a chronic health issue. I think there is a lot of misunderstanding and misinformation about how HIV is spread and exactly who is at risk."
She hopes the discussion will help shed light on the issue and illustrate the importance of awareness and education.
"It is still something that we deal with," Beyer said. "No one is immune, but it is something that can be controlled with proper information and proper behavior."
Northland Cares, located in Prescott, operates a specialized care outpatient medical clinic for HIV/AIDS patients. Support services are also offered.
"Being HIV-positive is very expensive. A lot of times people will need assistance with that. We have programs that can support them with their needs if they qualify," Beyer said.
For more information on the discussion, visit the gallery online at www.prescottcollegeartgallery.org.
Posted: Tuesday, January 28, 2014
Article comment by:
Not true. If people practice safe sex or abstain from sex they will essentially be immune. For many of the self absorbed me first crowd, they may get AIDS, and for them I have no empathy and offer no help. We all need to draw the line somewhere, for me, it's when people knowingly practice self destructive behavior. I deem these people unworthy of my help.