by Cyrus dos Santos
The Ruth Boyea Women’s Center and AIDS Connecticut (ACT) held an information session to encourage safe sex and disease prevention. The event, titled “No Glove No Love,” took place in the Women’s Center lounge on the second floor of the Student Center Monday evening.
“It’s completely free,” said Sharise V. Truman, coordinator for women’s health services at Central Connecticut State University. “We’ve partnered with AIDS Connecticut, and through them we’re able to get male and female condoms for individuals as well as lubricants.”
Along with free contraceptives, ACT provided literature as well as guest speaker LaToya Tyson, ACT’s prevention program manager.
“We work on improving the life of people that are infected and affected by HIV and AIDS,” said Tyson.
One of the main goals Tyson and her colleague, Norman Lebron, aim for is emphasizing personal risk awareness. According to Tyson, many individuals are simply unaware that they are at risk for contracting HIV and lack the knowledge necessary to eliminate that risk.
“I want to work myself out of a job,” said Tyson. “The only reason I have work, is because people are still getting infected. It’s a preventable infection. It’s something that you don’t have to get.”
ACT was formed in 2013 when the Connecticut AIDS Resource Coalition and Alliance for Public Health, two organizations that began in the 1980s, merged. They are federally funded through the Department of Public Health in Connecticut. Located in Hartford, the organization provides assistance to individuals dealing with employment discrimination issues, as well as a syringe service program. ACT also offers confidential HIV testing. Information can be found at their website, aids-ct.org.
This is the second information session hosted by the Women’s Center this semester. Truman spoke about the need for a continuing conversation on the importance of safe sex. “Because some individuals may be practicing un-safe sex and that puts them at risk for contracting HIV.”