Alternative Spring Break 2013-2014 - Confronting HIV/AIDS in San Francisco

Basic Information
Application Process: 
Alternative Spring Break 2013-2014
Trip Name: 
Confronting HIV/AIDS in San Francisco
Trip Location: 
San Francisco, CA
Air Travel Trip: 
No
Number of Participants: 
12
Trip Description: 

When its symptoms first appeared in 1981, HIV/AIDS was deemed the “gay plague.”  With few treatment possibilities at the time, the striking speed at which people were becoming sick and little interest set by the government to fight the forthcoming epidemic, the city was sent into a crisis mode.  Social activism aimed at achieving affordable treatment and care was in full force.  In the coming years the people of San Francisco achieved a lot, including drug advancements that have made an HIV infection the opposite of a death sentence.  However, these advancements have simmered the urgency to keep combating the disease.  Still today, 1.1 million people are living with HIV infection and almost 1 in 5 are unaware that they have it.  In the Bay Area, alone, possibly the world’s largest hub for HIV/AIDS outreach and awareness, the disease still takes the lives of hundreds of civilians each year and the prevalence continues to rise.  

Our trip’s participants will be presented with a variety of perspectives on HIV/AIDS, which will allow them to form their own opinions about the epidemic. We hope to highlight the many service organizations in San Francisco that are still fighting the ways in which HIV/AIDS affects our day-to-day lives, from the hospitals that treat and study HIV to the local organizations that offer support and counseling for HIV positive individuals, regardless of their identity. Make no mistake – this trip will definitely bring its participants into situations that might seem foreign or uncomfortable. We will show that HIV/AIDS impacts everyone, and that no matter who you are, you can make a difference in not only this cause but also any other cause through focused public service. Our hope, above all, is that you come away from this trip excited and motivated to embark on your own public service experiences.

 

Trip Leaders
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William Carter

Hey everyone! My name is Will Carter and I was born and raised in Athens, Georgia.  I am majoring in Human Biology with an Area of Concentration in Infectious Disease and Global Health.   Participating in this ASB trip last year opened my eyes to the striking realities in which HIV/AIDS has affected an entire city like San Francisco, the importance of public service and the many potential avenues to making a difference in the world.  This trip was so influential that I was inspired to travel to East Africa this past summer to work with non-profits in Tanzania and Uganda that focus on reducing HIV stigma and providing the underserved communities with access to healthcare. It was one of the most amazing life experiences I have ever had. After Stanford, I hope to pursue a career in medicine, but I am keeping my options open to the many fields that public health has to offer.  I am rejuvenated to be back in the Bay Area and so excited to lead this trip in San Francisco in 2014.  In my free time, I enjoy going on adventures, hiking and camping, and attending concerts.  I am excited to be co-leading with my friend, Revanth Kosaraju who went on the trip with me last year. We hope your ASB experience is just as eye opening and meaningful to you as it was for both of us.

Revanth Kosaraju

Hi, all! I’m Revanth Kosaraju, a sophomore with a prospective major in Biomedical Computation (BMC). After going on the HIV/AIDS ASB trip last year, I came away totally inspired and motivated to make a difference, and the first way I wanted to do that was by paying it forward and leading the next group of ASB participants on this year’s trip. I also had the neat experience of going on ASB with my friend Will who I got to know last year and who is now co-leading this trip with me.I am considering a career in medicine, but my interests are broad, ranging from public health and health behavior change to the intersection of technology and medicine. Most of all, I’m excited to say that I’ve barely scratched the surface of the experiences, classes, and wonderful people that Stanford has to offer.I’m an avid college football fan, so in my free time, you can catch me watching the latest game (which pretty much consumes my Saturdays since games run from dawn to dusk) or just following the sports world. Apart from that, I enjoy spending time with my friends, going for a bike ride around campus, or visiting the awesome places that are in the Bay Area, which is my original home (408 whatsup)! I’m excited to meet all of you and hope to make ASB as wonderful for you as it was for me.