100000 expected for AIDS memorial
May 19, 2012 - Around 100,000 people worldwide are expected to
commemorate the International AIDS Candlelight Memorial Sunday to remember
those who have lost their lives to AIDS and to support those living with HIV and affected by its impact. Supported by community, business
and religious leaders in 500 town and villages in
115 countries, Memorial participants call for greater action from all actors in the HIV response.
"The International AIDS Candlelight Memorial is a vivid reminder of our continuous battle against a very
deadly disease," says Mayowa Joel, Candlelight Memorial Coordinator in Nigeria. "Remembering the friends and loved ones
we lost to AIDS is essential in this time of dwindling funds and ever changing global health and development
priorities that threaten the advances we have made to stop AIDS and reverse the spread of HIV and other
closely associated diseases especially TB."
According to the most recent UNAIDS statistics, around 34 million people are living with HIV globally.
Increasing access to HIV treatment has aided efforts to stabilize the epidemic, but still every year 1.8 million
people die of AIDS related diseases, while some 2.7 million new people become infected. Annually at least
390,000 children are born with HIV, something which is wholly preventable with current medical knowledge.
People participating in this year's International AIDS Candlelight Memorial call for governments and international
agencies to ensure more people have access to better health services and HIV treatment. Also Memorial participants
demand local and national governments to do more to support the human rights of people living with HIV and no
longer tolerate stigma and discrimination.
Promoting Health and Dignity Together is the theme of this year's Memorial. The theme emphasizes that the health and
well-being of an individual cannot be achieved without respecting a person's dignity and promoting and protecting
the human rights of all. Promoting Health and Dignity Together is closely connected to the rights based
framework, Positive Health, Dignity and Prevention, focusing on the health and well being of people
living with HIV, which has been developed by UNAIDS and GNP+ and has informed national policies
responding to the needs of people living with HIV around world.
The 29th International AIDS Candlelight Memorial is hosted by the Global Network of People living with HIV (GNP+).
GNP+ (Martin Stolk, Communications officer, by email email@example.com,
The Global Network of People living with HIV (GNP+) is a global network for and by people
living with HIV. GNP+ advocates to improve the quality of life of people living with HIV. The central theme for the work
of GNP+ is Reclaiming Our Lives! GNP+ programmes are organised under four platforms of action: Empowerment; Positive
Health, Dignity and Prevention; Human Rights; and Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights.
"Reproduced with permission - Global Network of People living with HIV (GNP+)"
Global Network of People living with HIV (GNP+)