Campus News

Sex Out Loud discusses stigma surrounding HIV/AIDS during World AIDS Day

Sex Out Loud educated attendees on World AIDS Day about issues queer people of color face when obtaining preventative HIV medication.

Image By: Ben Golden

UW-Madison student organization Sex Out Loud led a discussion at the Memorial Union Council Room to raise awareness on HIV/AIDS during World AIDS Day Thursday.

The group showed a video on PrEP, a preventative HIV medicine for those who have an increased risk for exposure to HIV/AIDS.

Sex Out Loud is a peer-led resource on campus that promotes sexual health through sex education and activism.

Events Coordinator Char’Lee King said her involvement with the organization was heavily influenced by her upbringing in an African-American community that did not talk about topics related to sex.

“Sex Out Loud incorporated pleasure which is a great part of sex ed,” King said. “[It] allowed me to voice the opinions I’ve heard in my community growing up and teach people the importance of sex and how to have a healthy relationship and sex life.”

The event, which was open to the Madison community, discussed sex and relationships in the LGBT community, and aimed to debunk the social taboo that surrounds HIV/AIDS.

The discussion emphasized that queer people of color tend to have statistically higher death rates from AIDS than any other historically marginalized group. The speakers said poor communication ethics in health care have resulted in a lack of known resources for HIV-positive individuals in the black community despite potential available treatments.

According to King, PReP medication is on average $1,300 per month with insurance, and approximately $1,000 per pill if a person is not covered. The demographics of areas throughout the U.S. that have poor access to health care are disproportionately composed of people of color.

“It is prohibitively expensive for those who don’t have it covered by insurance, which perpetuates white male advantage over blacks,” King said.

UPDATE Dec. 2, 9:31 a.m. This story was updated to correct the average price to PRep medication to $1,300 from the originally written number of $13,000. 

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