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Created date

09/05/2017

Media Release - International AIDS Candlelight Memorial 2017

NTAHC International AIDS Candlelight Memorial 2017 – Ending AIDS Together

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Ending AIDS Together is the theme for the 2017 International AIDS Candlelight Memorial that will take place on Sunday 21st of May from 5pm. The NT AIDS and Hepatitis Council (NTAHC) will be holding commemorative events at Monte’s Lounge, Alice Springs, and Lake Alexander, Darwin, at which the public will be invited to light candles in remembrance of those we’ve lost to HIV/AIDS and in solidarity with People Living with HIV (PLHIV) around the world.

The International AIDS Candlelight Memorial is one of the world’s oldest and largest grassroots mobilisation campaigns for HIV awareness. Started in 1983, the Memorial takes place annually on the third Sunday in May, and is led by a coalition of some 1,200 community organisations in 115 countries. The Memorial aims to raise social consciousness about HIV and AIDS, recognising the 33 million PLHIV around the world today.

By coming together for this event, NTAHC aims to break down barriers of stigma and discrimination, and give hope to new generations. Leadership by PLHIV and those affected by HIV is an important part of the International AIDS Candlelight Memorial, which was started by PLHIV “to give a face to the epidemic”.

The 2017 theme End AIDS Together highlights the changing face of the HIV/AIDS epidemic globally. “HIV is no longer a death sentence in many parts of the world due to advances in treatment and prevention” says Paul Dawson, Acting Executive Director of NTAHC. “Many people in Australia live long and happy lives after being diagnosed with HIV, with stigma and discrimination their most troubling side-effect, although we must continue to be vigilant in our response to the epidemic both locally and internationally. The annual International AIDS Candlelight Memorial provides a wonderful opportunity to draw attention to the progress made and challenges we still face in responding to HIV/AIDS in our society and around the world” 

This year NTAHC will once again be organising Memorial events to engage communities in Alice Springs and Darwin. The Alice Springs event will take place at Monte’s Lounge, 95 Todd Street, Alice Springs (Corner Todd St & Stott Tce), and the Darwin event will be held at Lake Alexander. Guests will be invited to make and light red candles in honour of the occasion. Live entertainment, speeches and a short film screening will take place at both events, with light refreshments provided and educational materials on offer. NTAHC Patron, Her Honour the Honourable Sally Thomas AC, will open both events in absentia, as she is currently on sabbatical in England.

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