“December 1 is World AIDS Day,” Mara explains, “and so in coordination with that, I’ve worked to organize free STD and HIV testing at our annual Consent Fair.” The fair includes prizes, swag and information sessions in partnership with the Triad Health Project (THP) — a partnership Mara personally worked to reestablish.
The Triad Health Project has provided the Greensboro community with HIV and AIDS services, support and education for more than 30 years. A Health Sciences and Sociology and Anthropology double major, Mara interned with THP over the summer.
“My time with the Triad Health project taught me a lot,” she says. “I improved my health communication vocabulary, learned how to work and connect with the many diverse clients they serve, and — perhaps most importantly — I learned how important it is to combine knowledge from the ‘hard sciences’ with social science to really serve the wellbeing of a community.”
Mara’s vision for improved health and safety on campus doesn’t stop with the Consent Fair. She’s actively collaborating with faculty, staff and RAs to ensure that access to safer sex-education materials and testing is a consistent part of life at Guilford. “I want to see testing with the Triad Health Project offered twice a year,” she says. “If it’s free and easily accessible, more people can get tested.”