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The purpose of this Blog is to pick up where the Atkinson Reporter has left off. "The King is dead, Long live the King!" This Blog is a forum for the discussion of predominantly Atkinson; Officials, People, Ideas, and Events. You may give opinion, fact, or evaluation, but ad hominem personal attacks will not be tolerated, or published. The conversation begun on the Atkinson Reporter MUST be continued!

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Friday, April 24, 2009

Timberlane students hear story of one panel from AIDS quilt Quilt helps students understand how at risk they can be

From the Eagle Tribune;

Timberlane students hear story of one panel from AIDS quilt Quilt helps students understand how at risk they can be
By Margo Sullivan
margosullivan@eagletribune.com

PLAISTOW — Students at Timberlane Regional High School heard a firsthand story of the risks of the AIDS pandemic yesterday. During morning and afternoon assemblies, they looked at 12 panels from the AIDS memorial quilt, which bears the names of 47,000 victims, while they listened to the cold, hard facts from an author with roots in Plaistow.

Nancy Draper, who used to work in the district schools as a substitute teacher, said AIDS presents a growing public health threat, especially for young people. Half of all new HIV infections strike those in the 15 to 25-year-old age range. That means "all you in the bleachers," she told the students.

"To some extent, AIDS has fallen off the radar screen in America," Draper said. "We can't let that happen."

She told the students how her mother, Irene Hamel of Merrimac, Mass., became ill from blood infected with the deadly virus that she received while undergoing heart-bypass surgery. She was 61 years old and made a decision not to tell anyone about her illness. Before she died at age 66, she made Draper promise to tell the story after her death.

"Nancy," she said, "I want you to write about this disease, so other people don't have to suffer in silence like we did."

Draper said she honored her mother's wishes and wrote a book, "A Burden of Silence." She also made a panel for the AIDS quilt in her mother's memory.

Draper said the entire quilt, which includes the names of 47,000 people who have died from AIDS, weighs 54 tons and would reach from Plaistow to Boston.

The AIDS quilt travels to the school every two years, according to Megan Truche, 16, a junior from Sandown. Truche, who is active with the school's Peer Outreach Group, said the memorial has become "kind of a tradition."

Truche said she hopes the quilt will remind students that AIDS still poses a major public health threat, but added it was too soon to gauge the impact.

"Usually, the day after the assembly, we'll have discussions," she said.

Kimberly Andrade of Plaistow, also 16 and a junior, helped display the quilt. She also belongs to the Peer Outreach Group. When she found out the quilt was coming to Timberlane, she said she wanted to be involved.

The Gay Student Alliance and the SoRock Coalition for Healthy Youth also organized the display.

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

WOW!! When did AIDS become a "pandemic"?

Websters defines "pandemic" as;

: occurring over a wide geographic area and affecting an exceptionally high proportion of the population pandemic malaria

Anonymous said...

It is really great that we cant teach reading writing and math, but we can teach them politically correct messages about Earth day, and AIDS

Anonymous said...

AIDS has been around for such a long time now. How can anyone not be aware of it's existance. I don't think not knowing about Aids is the problem. The problem is the stupidity of the reckless,don't care attitude, that prevails.

Granted there are many ways for getting Aids that are terrible, and there are innocent victims.
How do you get through to those that choose to ignore the consequences of such a disease.

If only one individual learned a lesson from all the messages that are out there then it would be worth the effort. I don't think we are getting through to those that are too full of them selves and want to do as they please.

Anonymous said...

But to characterize it as a pandemic, is simply false.

Yes it is a terrible disease. Yes it is one of many that stupid kids can contract through wanton, reckless, unprotected sex.

But it is much less likely that a high school kids screwing another high school kid will contract HIV, than many, many other STD's.

And it is NOT a pandemic.

Anonymous said...

So good to hear from the close-minded twits that make everyone here seem like a bunch of ignorant yahoos.

Go climb back under your rocks please...

Anonymous said...

Why must I be a rock dweller if I state the obvious....

AIDS, while serious, is NOT a PANDEMIC!

A pandemic means that a "significant majority" of the population is stricken with it.

There are 300,000,000 people in the USA, are there 150,000,000 AIDS patients?

No, there are not.

I am not closed minded, I just prefer honesty.

Anonymous said...

Anon 5:02,

AIDS is and has been a pandemic for some time. The disease has claimed over 25 million lives worldwide since 1981.

Anonymous said...

If your son or daughter had aids would you want them to spread the unfortunate disease. Would you want them ,one or the other, to have sex or marry with one another knowing the consequences. I think not and do hope not! No, at this time it is not pandemic but you the parent and the child who read this blog are to be held responsible for your actions to one another and,yes ,all man kind to further educate and prevent unwanted aids from spreading further. With greatest of thanks to public awareness it has been ,until now, been held at bay so to speak . Why be dumb about it and not talk to your children very openly about sex and its costliness in all of sex causing pregnancy and diseases. Just a thought of my own opinion about sex related problems.

Anonymous said...

Again, I never said it wasn't serious, or shouldnt be the subject of education or information.

I said it isnt a pandemic.

This word has a specific meaning. Even if your number of 25 million worldwide is correct, that is 3% of the world population, hardly an "exceptionally high proportion of the population.

I am just saying use the appropriate terminology. It does not fit the definition of pandemic, epidemic maybe, but pandemic, no.

Anonymous said...

Whatever you say doctor.

Anonymous said...

Anons 11:29 and 7:26, I am sorry, but you are incorrect. AIDS is, in fact, a pandemic. For a disease to be considered a pandemic, it must be spread among several populations (i.e. an entire country or countries, or worldwide.) AIDS is most certainly a disease that meets that definition.

Now if the disease was specific to only NYC, then it would be considered an epidemic. However, there is no magic number/death toll that qualifies a disease as a pandemic.

So education about this and many other preventable diseases is extremely important. And to Anon 9:09 AM, I fail to see the connection to political correctness and disease prevention. When has trying to save lives become "PC"?

Anonymous said...

AIDS is a pandemic. Just because we are not experiencing the same number of cases here, doesn't remove the significance of this disease. Half of the adult population in some third world countries have HIV. When a mom from our area contracts AIDS in an operation, the kids having unprotected sex around here are at risk. The point is, anyone exchanging blood products is a risk, even a wife who's husband is fooling around.

And further more, learning to be politically correct teaches the kids manners instead of remaining ignorant about how to treat others and the earth. It's part of becoming a well rounded individual rather than a rude and uneducated person. We should be glad they are being taught on all levels.

Anonymous said...

The issue was never really whether AIDS was a pandemic or not. What this person really objected to was that kids were learning about a disease associated with gay people. That's all.

Back under you rock now ignoramus...

Anonymous said...

Ok 3:01, you are obviously the homophobe, seeing as I never made any assertions about the victims of AIDS. And no, it is not a disease strictly associated with gays. In other countries it crosses all races, genders, and sexual practices. I was merely discussing the terminology.

I think you, sir, are the one who should crawl back under the uninformed rock from which you crawled.

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Anonymous said...

I thought this blog was about politics.

Anonymous said...

To 6:32 -- I n a way it is politics and not a drifting away from politics. Politically the schools should be told to teach safe sex . Politically , the divisions of thinking and thought of the majority is what is preventing the issue of Aids from being properly addressed. funding and research are needed to bring the disease to its knees, not political BS as we all know has and is now happening . Reread all the above and come to a conclusion of your own . I know I have.

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