Three Honored for AIDS Education Efforts

Article excerpt

A local business, a school-based operation and a coalition of student groups were presented with Light of Hope Awards at a World AIDS Day observance Tuesday before an audience of juniors and seniors at Sheffield High School.

The awards went to a coalition of student organizations at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center associated with national health professions for its "411 on Sex" educational campaign aimed at youths and their parents; Birchett and Associates, whose Sisterhood Showcase event provides free screening for about 1,500 individuals on an annual basis; and Sudie Cushman and Susan Lee, project coordinators with Shelby County Schools' Exceptional Children and Health Services, which provides educational programming on HIV and AIDS to students and the community.

The awards were presented during a program that featured dance and musical performances, the recitation of an AIDS-prevention pledge and plenty of information on how to avoid contracting the disease for which medical science has not yet found a medical preventive.

The theme of World AIDS Day, speakers explained, is "Getting to Zero," which means eliminating new HIV infections, cases of discrimination against people with AIDS and AIDS-related deaths.

Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell told students that the school was chosen for the event because young people have a large stake in the prevention of AIDS, which has a disproportionate effect on teenagers, young adults and African-Americans. …