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HIV Advocate India Clark Honored by Congressional Black Caucus
WASHINGTON (September 22, 2009) -- At least three percent of District Residents have HIV or AIDS.
Four percent of African Americans in the nation’s capitol are living with HIV.
These staggering statistics motivate Howard University senior India Clark to keep chipping away at the problem through prevention. As a certified peer educator, she spends hours each academic year equipping students, especially freshmen, with the tools to reduce risks to sexual health and avoid substance abuse.
The Congressional Black Caucus will recognize the tireless efforts of the 20-year-old accounting major on Friday, Sept. 25, 2009. Clark is the sole student honoree during the CBC’s “Evening Without Politics” Benefit Reception at the Grand Hyatt in Washington, D.C.
Clark has been engaged in HIV awareness since high school and this passion was nurtured when she enrolled in the Health Science for Peer Educators in the fall of 2007.
“I lead a number of sessions on campus to engage students about sexual habits and I find students know the information,” Clark said. “Unfortunately, many students often reveal that they don’t think they are at risk or it could happen to them.”
Clark’s peer education sessions include, “Pillow Talk” and “Ladies Room” for the female residents in the Quad. She also worked in conjunction with the male lead peer educator, Daniel Jacques, and presented “Man Up” a session designed for the residents of Drew Hall, a freshmen male dormitory.
Clark’s mentor Denyce S. Calloway, Ph.D., and director of the Substance Abuse HIV/AIDS Outreach Program (SHOP), lauds her drive and dedication.
“India is a dynamic peer educator with a passion for educating her peers about the behaviors that increase the risk of HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases and the importance of protecting themselves,” Calloway said.
Earlier this year, the National Minority AIDS Council (NMAC) recognized Clark as a "Future Leader in HIV/AIDS Advocacy." She also completed the Women of Color Leadership Institute sponsored by NMAC.
Photo by Justin D. Knight