Franz Lino/Staff Photographer Women Empowered Support, Protect, Educate, Advocate and Know at Binghamton University (WE SPEAK BU) hosted their third annual HIV “HIV Positive Monologues Monologues” Thursday evening. The aim of the event was to spread awareness about HIV/AIDS and different methods of prevention.

Women Empowered Support, Protect, Educate, Advocate and Know at Binghamton University (WE SPEAK BU) hosted their third annual “HIV Positive Monologues” in order to spread awareness about HIV/AIDS and different methods of prevention.

“We wanted a theatrical day to express awareness in a different way than the typical commercial,” said Karlisa Crooks, president of WE SPEAK BU and a senior majoring in anthropology.

The organization held the event to raise money to donate to charities that raise HIV/AIDS awareness and to hold their annual “It Can’t Happen to Me” event, which invites HIV/AIDS victims to tell their stories and educate students about prevention.

“Students on campus are too smart for their own good and know that they should use condoms and get tested for HIV,” Crooks said. “You go out and have a few drinks and eventually forget about the possibility of getting HIV and you think, ‘It can’t happen to me.’”

The “Positive Monologues” followed the story of four characters whose lives are affected with HIV/AIDS. It begins when Brooke, played by Katherine Hutson, a junior majoring in economics, meets Jeremiah, played by Michael Gross, a junior majoring in psychology, in a bookstore and they fall in love at first sight. Michael wanted to take their relationship to the next level, but Brooke told him that she was HIV positive.

“I’m reaping of my parents’ mistake, and now I have to deal with the consequences,” Hutson said of her character.

The next scene showed Donna, played by Cynthia Chiduku, a senior majoring in economics, going out for dinner with her husband Kevin, played by Devon Lapierre, a senior majoring in English, and getting frustrated when he checks out their waitress.

“I feel like I can’t trust you. I want a man who only looks and appreciates me when we go out,” said Chiduku’s character.

After their argument, Kevin went out to the bar to drink his problems away and found himself getting seduced by the waitress; meanwhile Donna began receiving more attention from her boss when he heard about her marriage troubles. He asked for her help on a business proposal with the hopes of getting closer to her. Both scenes ended with Donna and Kevin embracing the other person and leaving the stage as the lights went dark, which made it vague as to whether or not they cheated.

In the next scene, Kevin is waiting on the couch with flowers in hand to apologize for almost sleeping with another woman. Donna was initially skeptical about his apology but forgave him, even though she hid the secret of sleeping with her boss.

“Should I tell him? Is it even worth it? How would he ever find out? I can’t believe how much I’ve disgraced myself by betraying Kevin,” Chiduku said during her monologue.

After giving birth to their first daughter Brooke, Donna and Kevin were horrified to learn that she was HIV positive, and Donna’s secret was spilled.

“Because of her mistake, Donna infected her own daughter and husband without even knowing it,” said Daniella Olusoga, the host and activities coordinator for the club and a junior majoring in psychology.

Despite the tragedy, the play concludes with Michael and Brooke happily married and expecting their first daughter, who was tested negative for HIV.

“Just because you have HIV, it doesn’t mean that it’s a death sentence,” Hutson said. “Your life still goes on, and the people who love you will stick by your side.”

At the end of the scene, the cast took a bow to heavy applause.

“I really enjoyed the scenarios because they were really funny and realistic. It makes you think about what you would do if you were in that type of situation,” said Kelly Purcell, a junior in the Decker School of Nursing.

The “Positive Monologues” reinforced the importance of prevention and made students realize how important HIV/AIDS prevention is to the student population.

“The more I went to WE SPEAK BU events, the more I realized how much of a problem it is in our world. The play helped me gain a better understanding of how one mistake can change your life,” said Ebony Arendt, a sophomore majoring in management.