Maryville To Host AIDS Photo Exhibit
ST. LOUIS — When asked what a woman dying of AIDS in Africa has to do with people living in St. Louis, two Maryville University professors offer a quick, succinct response: Everything. “Women with HIV/AIDS are the fastest growing population in the world,” says Linda Lindsey, Ph.D., professor of sociology at Maryville University. “It makes a difference in their (local residents) lives because political stability and health stability in Africa can affect the political situation worldwide.”
According to the Until There’s a Cure website, http://www.until.org/, more than 42 million people are living with HIV/AIDS worldwide and 74 percent of these infected people live in sub-Saharan Africa. More than 19 million women are living with HIV/AIDS. And more than 22 million people worldwide have died from the disease. Not only are children left without parents but Africa is left without the young adults who are necessary for the continent’s economic development, Lindsey said.
That is why she and Larry Grieshaber, Ph.D., professor of health care management at Maryville, have worked with The St. Louis Metropolitan Global Health Network (GHN) to bring to the University a traveling photo exhibit, “Giving Women Power Over AIDS.” The exhibit will make its St. Louis debut at the Maryville campus on Saturday, Oct. 13, in the Donius University Center atrium. The exhibit, which will remain in the atrium through Saturday, Oct. 20, can be viewed during the Center’s hours of operation, 6:30 a.m. – midnight, daily. The exhibit is the inaugural event for the St. Louis Metropolitan GHN, co-chaired by Dr. Lindsey, that partners with organizations and individuals dedicated to raising awareness and advocacy about global issues impacting all of society.
“Giving Women Power Over AIDS.” is an adaptation of “In Her Mother’s Shoes,” a photo essay that appeared in the Seattle Times. In 2002, Times reporter Paula Bock and photographer Betty Udesen traveled to Zimbabwe to get a firsthand look at the reality of HIV/AIDS. The exhibit tells the story of Martha, one of about 11 million AIDS orphans in sub-Saharan Africa. The photo essay, which can be viewed at www.seattletimes.com/aids, appears on one side of the exhibit walls. The walls’ other sides provide a brief overview of microbicide research and development, and the global need for new prevention technologies.
“The exhibit presents personal stories, not just numbers,” said Grieshaber, who also serves as special assistant to the Health Professions dean for research and development. “It’s seeing real living and dying human beings. It’s learning what they can do to advocate for better health care for all citizens, both locally and globally. They can learn it’s a disease that you can live with, not die from.”
To coincide with the exhibit’s stay on campus, Maryville and the St. Louis Metropolitan GHN are hosting a public forum on the AIDS crisis from 7:30 – 8:45 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 17, in the University Auditorium. The keynote speaker will be Dr. Renee Ridzon, senior program officer for HIV, TB, and reproductive health, for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Ridzon, a longtime friend of Lindsey’s, is considered one of the United States’ foremost experts on HIV-related issues.
Also speaking will be Sara Friedman, managing editor of AIDSLink, Global Health Council, in Washington, D.C.; and Anna Jinkerson, outreach coordinator for U.S. Rep. Russ Carnahan, D-Mo. Serving as forum moderator will be Melba Moore, commissioner of health, for the City of St. Louis. For more information on the photo exhibit or the public forum, contact Grieshaber at firstname.lastname@example.org or Lindsey at email@example.com.
Maryville University, founded in 1872, is a private, coeducational institution offering approximately 50 undergraduate, seven master’s and two doctoral degree programs to 3,422 students. Ranked by U.S. News and World Report as one of America’s Best Colleges in the Midwest, Maryville University prepares its students for successful and meaningful careers by offering programs that integrate liberal arts with professional studies.
Among Maryville’s most recent graduates, 94 percent are employed or attending graduate school. Approximately 15,000 alumni work and live in the St. Louis region.