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FIU marks STD Awareness Month encouraging education, testing


April is national STD Awareness Month. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that every year there are an estimated 19 million new sexually transmitted infections in the United States. Estimates suggest that even though young people represent only 25 percent of the sexually experienced population, nearly half of all STD cases occur in people aged 15 to 24.

In an effort to inform the university community of the impact of sexually transmitted diseases, FIU will be hosting two events: HIV testing on Monday, April 9, and a lecture by HIV activist Maria Mejia on Tuesday, April 10.

Test Miami will be in Lot 3 (in front of Barnes & Noble at FIU) at 10 a.m. Results are anonymous.

Mejia’s talk, sponsored by the Sexual Education and Awareness group, will take place at 1 p.m. in GC 325. Lunch will be provided.

Mejia found out she was HIV-positive when she was 18 years old. “For me, this was a disease for prostitutes, drug users or homosexuals, so I never thought I would ever be positive,” says the activist, who was infected by her first boyfriend.

“Back in those days, this was a death sentence,” she adds. It has been more than 20 years, and Mejia has dedicated her life to raising AIDS awareness.

To attend the lecture, email jpino004@fiu.edu to RSVP.