The University of Bolton is marking international World Aids Day with a unique event to raise awareness about the condition.
The university will open its doors to special guest-speakers, sexual-health professionals and, most importantly, the public in a bid to boost awareness and reduce stigma attached to HIV. The event will take place in the Student Learning Zone (SLZ) of the Chancellor's Mall Building at 4pm on Wednesday December 1.
The event will also be attended by the town’s Mayor, Councillor John Byrne and University’s Deputy Vice Chancellor Peter Marsh.
Peter Marsh said: ‘I’m glad the University will be at the heart of the town’s events for World AIDS Day. It’s an extremely worthwhile cause and I am very proud that we, as a university with strong sense of community, are helping the best we can.’
As part of the event, segments of the world famous AIDS Memorial Quilt, also known as the International Names Project will be on display at the university. The quilt was founded in 1987 and is the largest ongoing community arts project in the world. Each segment is around 12 square foot and usually displays eight individual three foot by six foot panels sewn together that show pictures or messages. Not one segment is the same, making it a striking display. The quilt is used as a tool to help prevent new infections as each one of its 40,000 blocks marks a life lost to the illness, making it a poignant reminder.
As well as the eye-catching quilt, an HIV positive speaker from the Manchester-based AIDS charity, George House Trust will be talking. The speaker will be specifically focussing on the ongoing stigma and discrimination that is still attached to being HIV positive. They will be joined by Renata Hewart, the NHS Lead Nurse and Service Manager for Sexual Health and Reproductive Health in the region. Renata will be discussing preventative measures and other health issues.
It is the first time the event will be held at the University and it is a collaborative project with NHS Bolton, Public Health, George House Trust, Bolton Council and Bolton Interfaith Council.