Nationally, this age group accounts for 22 percent of all new diagnoses, according to the CDC. Despite this, the virus doesn’t get much attention around TCU.
Six dance companies worked to change that in this year’s AIDS Benefit Concert held Saturday. This included DanceTCU, dance companies from the DFW area and the Arlington Heights High School Repertory Company.
The event, which was founded in 1993 by Chi Tau Epsilon’s president, Andy Parkhurst, celebrates the life of accompanist Lee Fincher, who died of HIV/AIDS.
It also raises awareness about HIV/AIDS, which Tyler Maryak, director of development for the AIDS Outreach Center (AOC), said is needed in the community.
“It is important to make young people aware of the risk but also to share that people living with HIV are not to be feared,” Maryak said.
Jodi Trevino, a senior modern dance major and senior co-director of community engagement for Chi Tau Epsilon, said she started planning the concert in May.
“Our main goal for this event is not only to raise awareness for the AOC but also to engage the community and show that dance isn’t just an elitist event,” Trevino said. “It’s for everyone.”
Money raised from the fundraiser benefits the AIDS Outreach Center (AOC), which is responsible for eliminating barriers and raising awareness of HIV/AIDS in the Fort Worth area. Most AOC clients live below the federal poverty line and struggle to pay for their medications.
“Every year, this benefit concert donates anywhere from $2,000-$4,000 to the AIDS Outreach Center,” Trevino said.
Maryak said the money helps people living with the virus.
“The [donation] helps four people every year afford their medication, moving them toward health and happiness,” Maryak said.