AIDS Candlelight Memorial 2016: Engage, Educate, Empower!
Engage, educate, empower is the theme of the International AIDS Candlelight Memorial 2016 which takes place this Sunday, the 15th of May, for the 33rd time. Communities in at least thirty countries worldwide have organized over 70 memorials. The AIDS Candlelight Memorial raises HIV awareness and provides a much needed opportunity to commemorate the loved ones we have lost to HIV and AIDS.
“Engage, educate, empower are three important steps towards a better HIV response. We need to engage people, communities, governments and donors in ending the epidemic,” says Cecilia Chung, co-chair of the Global Network of People living with HIV (GNP+). “In engaged communities there is a greater HIV awareness, which results in better HIV prevention, treatment and less discrimination against people living with HIV.”
“Educate stands, in particular, for our effort to reach out to young people. Knowledge helps young people to protect themselves and look forward to a full, healthy life when HIV-positive.”
“We want to empower people living with HIV in all their diversity to stand up for their right to live free of stigma and discrimination,” explains Jaime Luna, of Y+ (the global network of young people living with HIV) and the other co-chair of GNP+. “When people are empowered they are in a better position to demand quality treatment, care and prevention, and the same respect for their rights as others.“
When the AIDS Candlelight Memorial was held first in 1983, no-one could have predicted the scale of the global HIV epidemic. With over 30 million of lives lost and around 37 million people currently living with HIV, HIV remains a challenging reality. For some people HIV has become a chronic disease, but many others lack access to treatment and experience HIV-related stigma, discrimination and other human rights violations on a daily basis.
The Memorial emphasizes the need for people living with and affected by HIV to join hands and work together in the response to HIV. The AIDS Candlelight Memorial is one of the world's oldest and largest grassroots campaigns for HIV awareness. It is coordinated at the global level by the Global Network of People living with HIV (GNP+).
Senior Communications Officer,
GNP+ is the global network for and by people living with HIV. GNP+ uses evidence based advocacy and community strengthening to improve treatment, rights and involvement for people living with HIV. Want to know more about our work?
Website: www.gnpplus.net | Facebook: /gnpplus | Twitter: @gnpplus
"Reproduced with permission - GNP+"
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