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Red Week about education

Last week, The Daily Iowan featured an article advertising the second IC Red Week, a week of events organized by UI student organizations focused on human rights and AIDS awareness. Student efforts were concentrated on educating the campus community about the severity of the global AIDS epidemic and its causes, and highlighting the fact that HIV/AIDS affects us in the United States, too, even in Iowa.

As this week comes to a close, it is important to realize that AIDS advocacy and awareness efforts are ongoing. In the fight against HIV/AIDS, much of the battle to reach an AIDS-free generation in our lifetime revolves around reducing the stigma surrounding the disease and educating others. The most obvious, important realities are often the ones that are hardest to see and talk about, and the sooner we can address and have open dialogue about these tough issues including HIV/AIDS, the better off we will all be.

Advocacy work on the local level has the potential to create a community in which we can openly acknowledge that HIV/AIDS is still an issue. By acknowledging this, we can open numerous opportunities for funding the fight at all levels, and we will create a safer environment for those who do not feel comfortable getting tested because of harsh criminalization laws. Contacting your legislators and voicing your support for laws that give rights to HIV-positive Iowans and promote funding like the Global Fund is essential.

The IC Red Week planning committee would like to thank all of the sponsors that helped make the week a huge success, and encourages anyone to get in touch with chapters of ONE at the University of Iowa, the Global Health Club, UI Students for Human Rights, Amnesty International, or GLBTAU for more information on getting involved with global-health and human-rights issues.

Ashley Horne

Re: Support for legalization growing

Congrats Hawkeyes, you’re on the right path. Keep in mind, the prohibitionists are losing and when they realize that they aren’t winning, they become obstructionists. Nitpicking overregulation and continuing denial of the established facts are their favorite ploys. They refuse to realize that the public is no longer as na├»ve as when *Reefer Madness* was produced, so they keep pushing the fear button. Ten thousand years of partnership between the herb and humanity are not that easy to dissolve. Repeal prohibition, and grow your own.

Jim Heffner

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