Arkansas State University
fax (870) 972-3693
Links to News Releases
Public activities at ASU
Department of Social Work to host second annual World
AIDS Day conference Dec. 1
November 3, 2009
-- Arkansas State University’s Department of Social Work in the
College of Nursing and
Health Professions will present its second annual World AIDS Day
conference, Tuesday, Dec. 1, in the Auditorium on the third floor of the
ASU Student Union, 101 North Caraway Road. The theme of this year’s
conference is, “HIV Complacency: A Deadly Risk Factor."
The conference is designed to increase awareness of the impact of
HIV/AIDS in northeast Arkansas. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. just
outside the auditorium, and the conference starts at 9:30 a.m. There is
no charge for the conference. The last day to register is Wednesday,
Nov. 19, by contacting Dr. Loretta Brewer (firstname.lastname@example.org).
There is a continental breakfast, but participants are encouraged to
make their way to the HIV testing area immediately after the keynote
speaker’s presentation. The location of the free and confidential
testing will be announced during the conference.
“This conference is only one of many proactive measures toward reducing
the disparities in the occurrence of HIV/AIDS in this area,” said Dr.
Guitele Rahill, conference organizer and assistant professor of Social
Work at ASU. “Governor Mike Beebe’s HIV task force was an important
building block in this effort as has been the work of the Arkansas
Minority Health Commission and the ongoing efforts of the Arkansas
Department of Health.”
Dr. Dexter Voisin, associate professor in the School of Social Service
Administration at the University of Chicago, is the keynote speaker for
this year’s conference. Dr. Voisin’s research projects involve mixed
method approaches to understanding HIV, drug and sexual risk behaviors
among adolescents, and international HIV prevention. His research has
been supported by grants from the National Institute of Child Health and
Human Development and the William T. Grant Foundation. His most recent
project funded by the National Institutes of Mental Health, involved
predictors of HIV risk behaviors among adolescents. The title of Dr.
Voisin’s presentation is, “I am educated, young, and live in the south;
so, why should I be concerned about HIV?”
The impact of HIV on non-racial minority youth in rural areas and the
disparate occurrence of HIV in African American communities are
important aspects of this year’s conference. A new component to this
year’s conference will be opportunities to extend outreach to local and
regional Latino communities. Gina Gomez, director of the Hispanic
Community Services in Jonesboro, will co-host a Latino town hall meeting
regarding HIV and its impact on the local Latino community. This town
hall meeting will be in Spanish and will follow a keynote presentation
by Francisco Sastre, a PhD candidate in the Department of Sociology and
Anthropology at Florida International University. Sastre is regarded as
an expert in exploring the cultural negotiations and acculturation
stressors and their connection with the process of community formation
among Latinos living with HIV in the diasporas in the United States and
in Latin America.
Several other events are planned throughout the day, including focus
groups on the role and involvement of local and regional faith-based
communities with respect to HIV-positive persons and their caregivers
and the implication of HIV complacency on the gay community of northeast
The day’s events will culminate in a candlelight vigil at 6 p.m., in
Heritage Plaza, outside of the ASU Student Union.
For more information about World AIDS Day and it activities, contact Dr.
Rahill at the Department of Social Work at (870) 972-3675 or through
e-mail at email@example.com