Medical students from The University of Queensland (UQ) will hold two HIV/AIDS awareness events next month.

The awareness day and red-themed party are being organised by students Thienminh Dinh and Katherine Gridley as part of UQ’s TIME Red Campaign.

“It’s not just Africa, it’s not just IV drug users and it’s not just gay men,” Dinh said.

“The message that HIV/AIDS can be a devastating disease to any human being is one of great importance.”

TIME (Towards International Medical Equality) was started in 2011 by UQ’s global health club.

“Last year’s Red Aware Day saw nearly 500 students visit us on the UQ Grassy Knoll, where they could grab some great freebies and mingle with the representatives from various sexual health organisations,” Gridley said.

“And the Red Party was an outstanding success, with well over 350 guests filling Fringe Bar to capacity. Our hope is that this year’s Red Aware Day and Red Party will be even bigger, and continue to become an annual UQ tradition.”

Dinh and Gridley said raising awareness among not only the university’s general population but also its medical students (those who will continue to treat the disease into the future) is vitally important.

“There are 2,000 newly infected people in Queensland each year and the disease is responsible for 2.1 million deaths worldwide, with immeasurable burden in terms of morbidity and social stigma,” Gridley said.

“We hope to make this party the standout event on the social calendar, not only in terms of raising funds, but also in the context of HIV/AIDS awareness.

“Our aim is to raise $6,000 or more for the campaign’s benefactors, the HIV virology lab at the QLD Institute of Medical Research and UNICEF’s Unite for Children, Unite against AIDS program.”

Red Aware Day will be held on August 1 and the party, August 2. Further information on the events can be found here.

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