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Lafayette is hosting its Second Annual AIDS Symposium today, featuring a lunch presentation, a dinner and panel discussion, and a display of panels from the national AIDS Memorial Quilt.

The symposium will focus on AIDS among African Americans, Latinos, Asians, and women in general. It also will touch upon the AIDS epidemic in Africa.

Sections of the AIDS Memorial Quilt will be in a public exhibit 9-5 p.m. Tuesday in the Marlo Room of Farinon College Center. Informational booths from Easton Neighborhood Center, Latino AIDS, and AIDSNET of Bethlehem also will be available.

A noon brown bag lunch program will led by Elaine Pasqua, president of Project Prevent and a member of the Pennsylvania HIV Prevention Community Planning Committee, in Interfaith Chapel, Hogg Hall. Pasqua will include role-playing exercises and hands-on activities as part of her talk on “Living and Loving in a World with AIDS.” The event is free and open to the public. Lunch may be brought or purchased for $3.

In 1989, Pasqua’s mother and stepfather were diagnosed with the AIDS virus. After honoring her parents’ wishes to keep their HIV status a secret during their lives, she starting giving presentations about the effects of the disease and high-risk behaviors to college and university students in 1995. She draws upon experiences as a faculty member of the New Jersey AIDS Education and Training Center and as a dental hygienist. She has appeared on television talk shows for teens and has been instrumental in organizing AIDS awareness programming for the James A. Michener Art Museum involving national political figures.

A dinner, panel discussion, and question-and-answer session will be held 6-8 p.m. in the Marlo Room. Panelists will include Beatrice Rodrigues-Ramirez, case manager with the AIDS Activities Office at Lehigh Valley Hospital, and Beldina Opiyo, an HIV/AIDS specialist with AIDSNET who is enrolled in the community health education graduate program at East Stroudsburg University.

Attendance at the dinner is open to all students, faculty, and staff at Lafayette as well as students of Lehigh Valley middle schools, high schools, and colleges. Reservations may be made by calling the David A. Portlock Black Cultural Center at 610-330-5819 by Thursday, March 14.

Ronald Hinton, a junior religion major from Paterson, N.J., is serving as symposium chairman. Sponsoring groups include the Office of Intercultural Development, Lafayette Activities Forum, Association of Black Collegians, Hillel Society, and QUest.

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