AIDS Candlelight Memorial
- Guest Speaker Bradford McIntyre
AIDS Candlelight Memorial
Carnegie Community Centre
May 26, 2011
My name is Bradford McIntyre and I'm Positively Positive. I have been
living infected with HIV for 27 years. I feel very fortunate to be here today.
I am the founder and operator of Positively Positive - Living with HIV/AIDS (www.PositivelyPositive.ca) and currently, on the Board of Directors of
The AIDS Candlelight Memorial is an ideal opportunity and event, which
allows people who are affected or infected by HIV to gather together, to
mourn losses, to celebrate lives and to give and receive comfort from
The International AIDS Candlelight Memorial, which is coordinated by the
Global Network of People living with HIV, is one of the world's oldest and
largest HIV and AIDS events. It has 1200 organizations in 115 countries,
hosting local memorials. The first memorial was held in San Francisco, in
The Vancouver AIDS Memorial Society held its 27th and final annual
observance in May 2010.
It is essential that we continue to hear the voices of individuals infected with
HIV. We need renewed commitment and stronger involvement by
communities worldwide to carry forward the important educational
messages surrounding this ongoing challenge.
I often think about the countless people, who in the beginning of this
epidemic worked tirelessly to break down the barriers of fear and
discrimination in their own lives as well as for the sake of others. They
worked successfully at preventing the spread of AIDS. Many died in the
Globally, we are the beneficiaries of their pioneering efforts.
Sadly, nearly three decades later, there are those who are afraid to disclose
HIV infection and many continue to spread HIV.
For as long as I am able, I will continue to work at breaking down the
barriers, just like those who went before me! They made it possible for me
to be out about HIV! Their early battles for: human rights, stigma and
discrimination issues, prevention strategies and access to care and
treatment have benefited my life greatly.
Continuing to hold an annual AIDS Candlelight Memorial in Vancouver will
enable us to remain connected to those who have gone before, to those
who are affected today and in the future.
As someone who is living with HIV, these are reasons for maintaining a
• to first and foremost honour and remember those who have died of
• to demonstrate, through a public event, strong support for those living
with HIV and AIDS
• to raise our community awareness and involvement
• to decrease the stigma related to HIV/AIDS
Today we remember.
For a few moments let us pause and remember those who have gone