Motivational Speaker and AIDS Activist to Speak During HIV and AIDS Health Awareness Summit

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The SC State Brooks Health Center, in conjunction with the Office of Student Life and Leadership, will host a Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) Health Awareness Summit on Thursday, Feb. 11, 2010 at 7:30 p.m. in the K.W. Green Student Center located on the campus of SC State University.

During the HIV and AIDS Health Awareness Summit, HIV testing will take place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the K.W. Green Student Center’s Garnet and Blue Room. This year’s speaker will be AIDS activist Denise Stokes. Stokes has lived with HIV for 25 years.  As a result of advocating at a very young age, Stokes helped to put a face on heterosexual HIV infection in the 80’s. Now 38 years old, she shares her story with many professional and educational groups across the country, impacting everyone that she meets.

Stokes was an advisor to President Clinton as a member of the HIV and AIDS Advisory Council from 1995 to 2000. She has spoken at two Democratic National Conventions, to include the 2004 Democratic National Convention on behalf of John Kerry. She is also an active member of several community-based groups and is the spokesperson for BET’s Rap-It-Up Campaign.

Stokes is an emerging writer with work contributed to James Adler’s “Memento Mori – An AIDS Requiem,” and she is currently completing a powerful autobiography. She also recently released an exciting spoken word project entitled “Elevation.”

Although her career is one embellished by major achievements and constant media appearances, Stokes keeps her focus on the main objective, which is to educate people about HIV and AIDS. She actively mentors other HIV peers and continuously makes volunteer commitments.

With an endless amount of enthusiasm, Stokes continues to eloquently speak for the rights of people disenfranchised by HIV, addiction, homophobia and racism, as well as carry a passionate message of prevention and awareness to the world.

“This is the fifth year that SC State’s Brooks Health Center has had an HIV and AIDS Health Awareness Summit,” says Pinkey Carter, director of the Brooks Health Center. “This is an excellent opportunity for the students of SC State University to be informed about HIV, as well as to have the opportunity to meet someone that is living with the disease. The best ways to educate students are to inform our students.”

Tymon Graham, vice president of SC State’s Student Government Association, agrees.

“The HIV and AIDS Health Awareness Summit is an essential component of Student Appreciation Week,” says Graham. This event will serve as an excellent opportunity for students to become more aware about how you can contract HIV, and retain insight about people that are actually living with the disease and how this affects their lives.”

For additional information about the HIV and AIDS Health Awareness Summit, contact Pinkey Carter at (803) 536-7055.