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Stark News Details

Kent State Stark Marks World AIDS Day, Nov. 28 - Dec. 2

Posted Nov. 21, 2011
enter photo description
Standup comic River Huston will present
SEXED, a frank discussion about self-esteem,
sexuality, alcohol abuse and HIV/AIDS, during
Kent State Stark's commemoration of
World AIDS Day.

To mark World AIDS Day on Dec. 1, Kent State University at Stark will host a variety of informative events and lectures to increase awareness and understanding of HIV and AIDS. Featured events include the presentation SEXED by standup comic River Huston, free, private HIV testing and a fundraising party. All on-campus activities will take place at Kent State Stark, located at 6000 Frank Ave. in Jackson Township.

Described as blunt and irreverent, Huston is a standup comic, award-winning poet, sex columnist, public speaker, aerobics instructor, cabbie, musician, activist and former marijuana farmer. Her interactive presentation is a frank discussion on self-esteem, sexuality, alcohol abuse and HIV/AIDS, addressing her experience living with terminal illness and how the choices you make will change your life. She uses her background as a performer to keep the topics lively and humorous, while encouraging audience members to participate through questions and comments, using current media, such as texting.

For 18 years, Huston has performed around the world to audiences, from sororities and fraternities, to little old ladies at Unitarian churches. She has been featured on Good Morning America, Showtime, CBS’ Up To The Minute, Nightline and CNN. In 2009, Huston was awarded the Leeway Transformation Award to honor the positive impact that her work has had on society.

She has written several books of poetry, including Jesus Never Lived Here, The Bones of Susan and In Which I Lost 1,000 Pounds. She authored the books A Positive Life: Portraits of Women Living with HIV and The Goddess: A Guide to Feminine Wisdom, which earned her the Dorthea Lange/Paul Taylor Award. Huston currently performs her one-woman show, Sex, Cellulite and Large Farm Equipment: One Girl’s Guide to Living and Dying, in venues nationwide. Learn more about Huston at

The free HIV testing is open to students, faculty, staff and community members. To ensure privacy, study rooms on the library’s second floor will be temporarily remodeled to give each person requesting a test an individual room. The test results will be given within 20 minutes and a qualified counselor will be available to discuss the results.

Below is a list of events and activities marking World AIDS Day:

Monday, Nov. 28 - Thursday, Dec. 1:

  • Informative literature and free condoms will be available on tables in Main Hall and the Campus Center.
  • Bead for Life jewelry items will be on sale during the entire week in the Campus Center. Sales benefit HIV-positive or displaced Ugandan women. All proceeds from the jewelry sales are reinvested to fight extreme poverty in the areas of health, affordable housing and sustainable livelihood.

Monday, Nov. 28 - Friday, Dec. 2:

  • Display of AIDS Memorial Quilt panels in Main Hall first floor lobby and the Campus Center lobby

Tuesday, Nov. 29:

  • 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. – Free HIV testing provided by Planned Parenthood; Library second floor; individual, private rooms; results in 20 minutes; counselors available on site
  • 2 - 3 p.m. – HIV/AIDS, Global Realities, the Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Presentation by Dr. Kim Finer, Library Conference Room

Wednesday, Nov. 30:

  • 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. – Free HIV testing provided by the Alliance City Health Department; Library second floor; individual, private rooms; results in 20 minutes; counselors available on site
  • Noon - 1:15 p.m. – Community Outreach, Youth Programs and Basic Condom Use: Presentation by Bob Meeker of the Red Ribbon Connection, Library Conference Room
  • 4 - 5 p.m. – SEXED: Featured presentation by River Huston, Main Hall Auditorium
    Brief receptions will take place before and after the presentation. Also, Huston will autograph and sell her new DVD, A Positive Life: Portraits of Women Living with HIV.

Thursday, Dec. 1:

  • 11 a.m. - noon – Culture and Tradition and the Impact on HIV/AIDS Incidence and Transmission Around the World: Presentation by Dr. Leslie Heaphy, Library Conference Room
  • 6 - 8:30 p.m. – The RED Party: Fundraising Event, Campus Center
    Games, music, food and a chance to win gift cards.
    Admission is $2 per person or get in free by wearing red, bringing a friend or personal care item to give as a donation for the CHAPS Connection.

For more information about World AIDS Day events and activities at Kent State Stark, contact Cynthia Williams at 330-244-3262 or or visit