Feb

7

Conoce. Know.

Written by

SEE CORRECTION ABOVE.

As part of Black History Month, there was a blood-free HIV testing event on College Walk today (Wednesday) in order to raise awareness of the AIDS epidemic in the African-American community. It was open to the community, and we’re not sure how many test-ees were Columbia affiliates and how many weren’t, but we’ve heard some of the results were rather sobering.

At the end of the event, speaker Miss Black New York Shade Ogunleye mentioned that out of the 57 people who were tested, 13 were found to be HIV-positive. Remember: One out of four people who have HIV aren’t even aware that they do. If this isn’t reason enough for you to be safe(r), we don’t know what is.

Tags: , , , , ,

17 Comments

  1. I'm going  

    to try very hard to refrain from making a stereotypical remark regarding the topic of this post.
    There.

  2. ....  

    Oh my god. A blood testing event to commemorate Black History Month?! I have to give a major "wtf" to that (and I am not even in SHOCC or one of those people who sees racism in everything).

  3. mlp  

    On a related note, Safer Sex Week begins this Sunday! There will be some awesome events, so look out for fliers!

    (And HIV/AIDS is an increasingly big problem among African Americans. What's wrong with raising awareness and being proactive?)

  4. ugh

    Why are people up in arms about this? As a result of this testing 13 people found out they were HIV positive. Now that they know about it, they can begin to take measures to help themselves and protect others.

  5. ???  

    I definitely agree with testing. However, I think that we should offer testing because it is generally important, not because it is Black History Month.

    • wait a sec

      i'm guessing the event was sponsored by a specific group within the university (the BSO, maybe?) rather than straight out of Bollinger's office. i agree with your sentiment, though. but if February is That Time That People Have Events About The Black Community, then so be it. There's plenty of other non-HIV-related stuff going on for Black History Month.

  6. 13/57

    Were these 13 HIV+ Columbia students? Or were they people who had come in off the street? One-in-four seems awfully high to me for a population of predominantly straight, white, upper-class virgins; though I would imagine people who would get tested would be a self-selecting bunch.

    • sorry  

      "a population of predominantly straight, white, upper-class virgins; though I would imagine people who would get tested would be a self-selecting bunch."

      i'll give you the predominantly white, straight, and above middle class. but virgins? this is college, and this is 2007. just because you're not getting laid, doesn't mean no one else is. just because you're not getting laid, doesn't mean no one else is.

  7. Anna  

    I don't get why the headline has spanish in it...

  8. UMMMMMMMMMM  

    I don't think this was part of BHM, which is why I think Bwog made a somewhat racist assumption about it.

    http://www.columbia.edu/cu/bhm/calendar.html

  9. white boy here  

    Considering HIV and AIDS disproportionately affect America's black communities, I think it makes sense to have blood-free testing during Black History Month. Sort of sends a message that even though our policymakers seem not to notice (remember the question at the 2004 VP debate? no? you're not alone), HIV and AIDS are still major problems here in America.

  10. well  

    the event wasn't officially part of black history month, but the flyers mentioned it was for "black aids awareness day." and, health services offers free HIV testing M-R every week, plus support/resources for positive students.

  11. I'm thinking  

    It's possible the group just made sure 13 HIV positive people showed up just to make a point. Haha, 25% is insane, even the most AIDs-afflicted countries come in around 33%. Kudos to them regardless, it's a clever tool to get people to get tested. HIV tests are often free and anonymous, so there's no reason to not get one.

  12. Owain Evans  

    At high estimates 1 million Americans are HIV positive, but three quarters already know they have HIV so wouldn't bother getting tested. That means only about 250,000 who could test positive for HIV. That is less than 1 in a 1000, or (equivalently) 0.08% of the population.

    So you 1000 Columbia students took HIV tests (assuming none of them already knew they had HIV), you would expect 1 positive result on average. But that is assuming that Columbia students are a random sample of the population. But this is clearly false. A quarter of HIV cases result from intravenous drug use, but few Columbia students (relative to the rest of the population) would share risky needles. Moreover, Columbia students are significantly wealthier and better informed than a random sample of the population, and this means that (statistically) fewer will have HIV. Assuming Columbia students only have half the HIV risk of random US citizens, you would expect to find only EIGHT new cases of HIV from testing the whole of Columbia University (i.e. all 20,000 students and all 3000 faculty).

    So the new positive results that the blog post mentioned cannot be from Columbia students, and are even preposterously unlikely to come from testing a wider range of people. As the previous comment pointed out, this is most probably a case of (possibly well-meaning) dishonesty.

  13. Owain Evans  

    Start of second paragraph should be:
    "So IF 1000 Columbia students took HIV tests (assuming none of them already knew they had HIV), you would expect 1 positive result on average. But that is assuming that Columbia students are a random sample of the population."

© 2006-2015 Blue and White Publishing Inc.