U of G Community Encouraged to Donate to AIDS Campaign

September 09, 2008 - Campus Bulletin

One dollar is all it takes to participate in the Central Student Association's "Who Gives a Buck?" campaign aimed at raising money to provide antiretroviral drugs for children living with HIV/AIDS.

Running from Sept. 15 to 19, the fundraiser is encouraging members of the University community to donate their pocket change towards buying the life-saving drug for children in 14 countries in Africa as well as several communities in south east Asia.

"Through this campaign, I strongly feel that we have the potential at U of G to save more than 20,000 lives," said Yvonne Su, the CSA's human rights office co-ordinator. "It's important for us to realize how vulnerable we are to HIV, as approximately 50 per cent of all new infections are among youth."

Su felt compelled to organize the campaign after attending the International AIDS Conference in Mexico City in August.

"I was overwhelmed to learn that only three million of the more than 33 million people who are living with HIV have access to antiretroviral drugs," she said. "These drugs block HIV's assault on the immune system and keep people with HIV alive, yet 5,800 people continue to die daily because they don't have the $1 a day it takes to purchase the drugs."

As part of the campaign, the CSA is taking photos of those who make a contribution and pinning them on a bulletin board in the University Centre. Donors will be asked to sign their name as a commitment to "giving a buck" about those living with HIV.

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