The Telluride AIDS Benefit: Focus On Prevention Education And Awareness

Year after year, AIDS activist and Telluride Aids Benefit board member Ron Gilmer gets up on his soapbox and argues that prevention is the name of the game to stop the spread of the pandemic. Restrictive government guidelines that politicize the issue and focus on abstinence only are “tragically misguided.”

This year TAB is really driving Ron’s point home. The big theme for 2009: Educate for a Brighter Future.

From the get-go, TAB has helped fill some the voids in public education and awareness. Because of its success in this arena, Ron suggests TAB clones belong in every community in the world.

For years, educator Sandy McLaughlin has headed TAB’s HIV/AIDS awareness and risk reduction initiatives at the school, using educators from TAB’s primary beneficiaries – the Western Colorado AIDS Project, Denver’s Children’s Hospital Immunodeficiency Program and Brother Jeff’s Health Initiative – as well as local health authorities to talk turkey to our kids.

Prevention education does not stop after the half-day of talks. It continues with Sandy’s peer educators, a small army of crusading teens trained in AIDS advocacy to make a difference.

A number of these peer educators are also models in the Student Fashion Show.

[click to view Susan Viebrock’s interview with Sandy McLaughlin]

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