WMC group wins award for services to students ASAP honored nationally for AIDS-prevention work

ASAP -- for AIDS: Support, Awareness, Prevention, a Western Maryland College student service group -- has earned a national award for its programming efforts in 1996-1997.

The award is the first from BACCHUS and GAMMA Peer Education Network, a coalition of two national college alcohol-awareness groups, recognizing campus programs to prevent acquired immune deficiency syndrome, said campus health education coordinator Bonnie Bosley, also the student group's faculty/staff adviser.


"There is a distinct connection between booze and HIV infection among college students," she said. "We already know alcohol impairs judgment, and that can lead to careless decisions about sex.

"Unfortunately, young people think they are invincible and it's not going to happen to them. But it truly is a deadly combination," Bosley said.


The ratio of human-immunodeficiency-virus infections among 16- to 25-year-olds, a range that includes the majority of college students, is now 1-250, up from 1-500 a few years ago, she said.

ASAP members announced the award campuswide during a recent ceremony outside its WMC residence hall headquarters. The group also unfurled its new flag, which was designed by a student member, from a third-story window in the group's suite in Daniel McLea Hall.

The group will have two to four panels of the national AIDS quilt displayed at WMC during the first week in December, with a kickoff Dec. 1, World AIDS Day.

Last year's programming included a presentation by an HIV-positive woman who contracted the disease during her college years; and the sale of holiday cards designed by ASAP members, with proceeds going to area AIDS research and programs.

ASAP, formed in 1994, provides pamphlets, posters, work sheets and videos about AIDS. The group offers free, confidential HIV testing for students.

The BACCHUS and GAMMA Peer Education Network is funded through a cooperative agreement with the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Pub Date: 10/05/97