Chapter 9:
Responding to AIDS/HIV on Campus
By Kevin Berrill
spread.  Some people may take extreme
precautions based on irrational fears of
The AIDS epidemic is a problem con 
casual AIDS contagion, while others
fronting all Americans, including mem 
often mistakenly assume that they can
bers of college and university communi 
engage in unsafe sexual activity without
ties.  Since the NGLTF Campus Project
risk to their health.  Combating AIDS on
addressed the issue of AIDS on campus
campus is made more difficult by the fact
in its first Organizing For Equality
that many students are just beginning to
newsletter in 1988, increasing numbers
explore their sexuality and often only
of college and university administrations
have meager knowledge of sexually
have undertaken serious programs to
transmitted diseases and other reproduc 
stem the spread of the disease and
tive health issues.  Oblivious to the risks
respond to its aftermath.  Still, miscon 
associated with unsafe sex, some students
ceptions about AIDS   along with fear
have become infected with the Human
and hatred associated with certain AIDS
Immuno Deficiency Virus (HIV)   com 
 risk groups    have often slowed the
monly believed to be the cause of AIDS
official response to the problem both on
  and growing numbers have developed
and off campus.  If colleges and universi 
full blown AIDS.
ties are to meet the challenge of AIDS,
then sound programs and policies are
Without a cure or a vaccine expected in
needed to protect the entire campus com 
the near future, and an extremely high
munity.  In the absence of such programs,
mortality rate for those afflicted with the
lgbt students, faculty and staff, and others
disease, it is vital that AIDS education be
concerned about AIDS, may need to take
a high priority on campus.  As institu 
the lead by lead by lobbying for official
tions devoted to higher learning, colleges
action and initiating their own education
and universities offer an ideal environ 
and support programs.
ment for a successful public health cam 
paign   one on which lives depend.
The AIDS epidemic affects college cam 
puses in several ways.  As in the rest of
society, there still remains considerable
confusion about AIDS and how it is
This chapter provides an introduction to AIDS/HIV education on campus, pointing lgbt
campus organizers toward a sampling of the many organizations offering care, education
and other forms of assistance to those for whom AIDS and HIV have become part of their
lives.  Bryn Austin, a 1988 NGLTF Campus Project intern, contributed to this chapter.
R e s p o n d i n g   t o   A I D S / H I V
M     1 9 1


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