LUBBOCK, Texas – December is AIDS Awareness Month and people around the Hub City are educating the public on HIV and the steps they can take to prevent it.
Texas Tech University Health Sciences student Megan Mikkelson was helping her organization promote awareness and raising money for C.H.A.M.P.S, a local organization that helps families and individuals with HIV.
She said HIV and AIDS do not discriminate.
“Anybody can get HIV,” she said. “You don’t have to be a certain sexual orientation or a certain race. Pretty much anybody can get it.”
In addition, she said people should be aware on how HIV and AIDS can be contracted.
“It’s very hard to get from just normal contact,” Mikkelson said. “You can’t get it from kissing people. You can’t get it from just touching or doing a medical or physical exam.”
Mike Curiel remembers the first time he was told he had HIV.
“When I first found out, I didn’t want to tell anyone,” he said. “The first two days I was like, ‘I’ll keep it to myself.'”
Curiel said he’s learned from his experience and advises others to take precaution.
“Just be careful in whatever you do. If you’re going to be intimate with anybody, always remember to use protection,” he said. “That is the number one thing, is to watch out for ourselves.”