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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+).

Contact
GNP+ (Martin Stolk, Communications officer, by email mstolk@gnpplus.net,
or phone +31-20-423 4114)

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+)
www.gnpplus.net


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