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February 08, 1988 - Image 14

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1988-02-08

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Students believe they won't get AIDS

By Kristen McCleary
The Guardian
U. of California, San Diego
From the condom vending machines
in campus restrooms to the diminishing
use of the phrase "one night stand" in
college circles, it's becoming increasingly
clear that the AIDS virus is having a
significant impact on the U. of Californi-
a, San Diego (UCSD) community.
Last spring, a student intern with the
Student Health Service (SHS) decided
to monitor and measure UCSD student
attitudes toward AIDS as well as their
knowledge of the disease. Susie
Nyenhuis, a bio-chemistry major who
has been a student health advocate for
two years, spent the quarter planning
and administering an AIDS awareness
survey to 220 undergraduate students.
Over the summer she compiled her data
and analyzed the findings whereby, she
explained, the "(SHS) could target
groups of people who were misinformed
and educate them (about AIDS)."
What Nyenhuis found was an atti-
tude prevalent among college students
which she refers to as the "immortality
complex." Students "have a tendency to
believe that things will always be as
they are now. It's a short range think-
ing. It's difficult to educate people on
things that they don't think will affect
them," she said.
According to Nyenhuis, a persistence
in the belief that AIDS is a "gay disease"
and a belief by some that "those infected
with the virus somehow deserve it"
were existing and dangerous miscon-
ceptions. "There's a lot of homophobia
out there, in society," she said.
Those found to be least informed ab-
out AIDS were college freshmen. To in-
crease the flow of information, SHS put
AIDS brochures into the dorm packets
handed out at the beginning of the quat-
ter. They also provide speakers to lec-
ture on the issue at each dorm.
But the information alone is not
enough to combat the spread of AIDS
and assure student safety. Nyenhuis
stressed that a change in behavior is the
only way to avoid sexual contamination
on a large scale, remarking that some of
the people who were aware of the dan-
gers of the disease still had more than
one sexual partner and did not neces-
sarily use condoms during sexual inter-
course as a preventive measure. "There
are over one million teen pregnancies
every year. This shows two things. One,
they are not using condoms and, two,


sAFE 5eX

they're not being responsible. AIDS can
be spread through this population too
easily," Nyenhuis said.
During college, people are at one of
the highest risks of contracting the dis-
ease. The fastest growing group of AIDS
patients has been identified as 24- to
29-year-olds. Given a 5-7 year latency
period, this information means people
are becoming infected and exposed to
the virus from the ages 19-24--during
college years. "The experimental atti-
tude of college students combines with
their immortality complex to make this
a very dangerous age. (Students) gam-
ble their lives in the heat of passion,"
she said.
Nyenhuis suggests that the best pro-
tection against AIDS remains absti-
nence, or a completely monogamous re-
lationship, provided that neither part-
ner has been exposed to the AIDS virus.
"I don't think enough is said about
abstinence. In younger age groups it
shouldn't be stressed when you have
sexbut rather it's a choice to have sex
or not to have sex," Nyenhuis added.
Last March, the number of heterosex-
ual AIDS cases equalled that of the
homosexual population five years ago.
The rapid spread of AIDS into this lar-
ger population group worries Nyenhuis.
"I don't think people are going to change
or listen seriously to what health educa-
tors say until AIDS becomes real to
them... by then it will be too late."


Time bomb
Continued From Page 1
verified AIDS case, 50 to 100 other
people in the area are carriers.
No one knows for sure how many
U. of Florida (UF) students, faculty
or staff have AIDS. "That informa-
tion is so confidential they don't even
tell me," says Infirmary Director
Richard Shaara.
Sources say two or three cases
have been diagnosed at the Infir-
mary, but their status is "the best-
kept secret" on campus. Shaara says
that in the past, the Infirmary has
had two other cases.
"One student went home and
died," he said. "One UF employee
left, and we don't know whether that
person is still alive or not."
While those numbers may be
scary, these are downright fright-
" Within five years, Lee Strunin
with the Boston School of Medicine
predicts AIDS will become the lead-
ing cause of death for Americans be-
tween the ages of 20 and 29.
" Richard Keeling, chairman of the
American College Health Associa-
tion's AIDS task force, says, "a uni-
versity of 20,000 students might ex-
pect to find about 170 AIDS virus
carriers at the present time."
* Because the incubation period for
AIDS is between 3 and 5 years (and
sometimes as long as 10 years), UF
Health Education Specialist Joanne
Auth says college students who get
the AIDS virus today may not show
symptoms until after they graduate.
Although Keeling says there are only
75 reported AIDS cases among the
nation's college students, Auth and
Shaara say the small number is not
all that reassuring because college
students engage in more "high-risk
activities" than other people-they
are more likely to experiment with
IV drug use, homosexuality and
other sexual activities.
The bottom line, health experts
say, is that AIDS is no longer "the
other person's disease."
Since statistics show 70 percent of
all college students are sexually ac-
tive, the best way for thesi to avoid
AIDS is to practice safer sex-and
get good at it.

Escaped convict
surprises two
students at home
By Mike Marzolf
University Leader
Fort Hays State U., KS
Darin Armstrong and Ron Storz
seniors at Fort Hays State U., wer<
faced with a frightening situation th
day that Gary Chastman escaped fron
the Gove County Police.
That evening, Armstrong and Stor
heard a knock at the door of their house
around 11 p.m.
"We were watching TV, and they ear-
lier had showed a picture of him," Arm-
strong said. "When we heard the knock,
I jokingly told Ron, 'That's probably
that convict."'
Chastman put his foot in the door and
asked if he could have a drink of water.
"When I came back with the water, hS
had sat down in a chair, and pretty
much made himself at home," Arm-
strong said. "Then he started asking us
questions, like where were we from and
small talk like that."
Then Chastman asked a question
they weren't ready for: Had they heard
anything about an escapee that the
police were looking for.
"We told him that we didn't becaus
we were a little bit worried that he
would get violent," Storz said.
Chastman had stolen some clothes
from a garage sale and with the amount
of clothing on, Armstrong said they
could not tell if he had a gun.
Chastman proceeded to tell Arm-
strong and Storz who he was, and how
he had escaped from the police.
"We continued to talk and he told us
about his illegal action," Armstrong
said, "from holdinga lady at gunpoint to
stealing an officer's gun and ammo in
.the squad car."
Chastman then asked if he could
make a collect call.
"He called Ohio and seemed to be
speaking to some relation," Storz said.
"You could tell that whoever he was
talking to was upset."
While Chastman was talking on the
phone, Armstrong asked Storz, "If 4
should get some firepower, if you know
what I mean?"
Storz said that they probably should.
While Chastman was still on the
phone, Armstrong and Storz begar
talking loud enough for him to hear.
Armstrong asked Storz if they had
any beer downstairs, and Storz replied
that he would check.
Both Armstrong and Storz knew the
had no beer.
While downstairs, Storz got out a bo
with a gun and ammunition in it and se
it on a chair in the basement.
When Storz returned, he said thai
there was no beer and quietly told Arm
strong that the box was on the chair.
Chastman finished his phone call and
kept telling Armstrong and Storz how
"cool" they were for not turning him in.
"He pulled out a .357 handgun whi.
he had taken from the officer in the car,
Armstrong said. "He also had his badge
and approximately 17 rounds o
"Then we heard a knock at the door
Armstrong sald.
Chastman, startled by the knock
stood up immediately.
Armstrong put the gun and ammuni
tion under the couch, and told Cha

See Convict, Page 5

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