UAPB to observe World AIDS Day

The HIV/AIDS Peer Educators (HAPE) at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff will host a World AIDS Day program Dec. 6 at 11 a.m. in the Hathaway-Howard Fine Arts Center. The event will be followed by an AIDS walk on L.A. “Prexy” Davis Drive.

The free, public event will feature presentations by Kari Farmer-Coffman, chair of the C2EA (Campaign to end AIDS) Arkansas branch and Louis Henry, member of C2EA Dallas-UT Southwestern.

Farmer-Coffman, who lives near Fort Smith, was diagnosed with HIV Nov. 4, 2010, and diagnosed with AIDS two days later. She was told to make plans for her daughter and her funeral, but Farmer-Coffman was not ready to quit. Two years later, she is still fighting.

Now undetectable, she is a full time student, advocate and activist.

She enjoys being a Girl Scout leader and is currently working on two grassroot organizations: AR HOPE - a prevention based program in Arkansas where she is the leader of the River Valley branch and C2EA, which she helped start.

She has also joined the PJP HIV Criminalization state task force to help change the HIV Criminalization laws in Arkansas and has been invited to join the Arkansas HIV Minority Task Force that works to change policies and make life easier for those living with HIV.

Henry earned a bachelor of science degree in business administration from UAPB. He is a certified professional facilitator/trainer, with certification obtainments in the administration of alcohol and drug abuse prevention and treatment.

Henry is a candidate for a master’s degree in management and administrative sciences, with a concentration in healthcare organization management at the University of Texas at Dallas.

He is a community activist and public speaker in the areas of substance abuse/addition, public health, relationships, spirituality, community organizing and advocacy.

He is employed as a program coordinator of a capacity building assistance program at a medical school. Henry has also worked with a public health provider in South Africa to develop and implement HIV/AIDS programs and has received several awards. He is currently on the board of trustees of Arga Nova Dance Co.

C2EA is a coalition of people living with HIV and AIDS, their advocates and loved ones. Their mission is to bring issues to the attention of those in power and ask that they help resolve their concerns and eventually work to stop the epidemic.