National AIDS Day
Students promote Aids awareness

Jennifer Pritchett
Northern News Services

NNSL (Dec 02/98) - A group of St. Pat's students who performed skits about AIDS awareness for their peers on Tuesday are doing what they can to ensure they know the facts about how the disease is contracted.

Their performance was one of several events that marked National AIDS Day, Dec. 1 -- when AIDS Yellowknife organizes the sale of red ribbons to promote awareness.

"What I like about it most is that we can communicate with peers and offer support," said Grade 12 student Vinoth Sabanadesan.

"A lot of our skits are goofy, but they do have a serious message and that's the important thing -- getting the message out."

Their preventative approach is one of the ongoing projects of AIDS Yellowknife to promote awareness.

With 32 cases diagnosed in the NWT since 1985, the numbers have been few compared to other parts of Canada. But the small number of cases isn't stopping AIDS Yellowknife from taking the preventative approach.

"What we're asking is that people wear red ribbons... to promote awareness," she said.

The ribbons are only part of what the group does -- it provides support to those who have been diagnosed with Aids as well.

"We're always and forever buying condoms," she said.

And Grade 10 student Catherine McManus, who also helps write and perform the educational skits for AIDS Yellowknife Peer Education group, said the work they do is helpful for those involved, as well as their peers.

"I learned a lot of new stuff -- prevention, how you get it, and people you can ask for help," she said.

The group also performed at Javaroma Tuesday night to mark National AIDS Day.