Students Remembers AIDS Victims

12-2-05 - Across the world, millions of people have spent Thursday remembering those who have either lost their lives to AIDS or are still living with the HIV virus.

In Texoma, a special ceremony was held at Austin College.

14 years ago, an organization was formed on campus to bring AIDS awareness to students and those throughout the community. Thursday night was the seventh year in a row that they gathered to let their lights shine for a cure.

The front entrance of Wynne Chapel was glowing as dozens of students, parents and children gathered in silence to reflect. But once inside the small chapel, there was no holding back.

Songs, poetry and prayers in multiple languages were lifted up for those who've lost the fight, but also sitting in the seats were survivors offering hope to not give up. Their message made the night a remembrance and a celebration.

"IT's about raising awareness, raising sensitivity, helping us to understand and educate people about this disease," AC Cares sponsor Dr. Roger Platizky said.

Platizky is an English professor at Austin College, but also a sponsor for AC Cares, an organization that encourages students to be educated and compassionate about AIDS.

World AIDS Day focuses on the most innocent victims, newborn babies and children born with the disease. A decade ago, the disease took the lives of hundreds of babies in the US along. Those numbers have dropped dramatically, but there is still a ways to go.

"Some people think we have a cure, but we don't have a magic bolt yet and people still are at risk," Platizky said.0

And until there is a cure, a burning desire to find one will live on.

Everyone at the ceremony was wearing a red ribbon in honor of the day. There were t-shirts designed by students being sold, and 100 percent of the proceeds went to a children's home Africa for those who are living with AIDS.

Today more than 41 million people are living with AIDS around the world, and two million of them are children.