Jamra primary scholl for children affected by HIV/AIDS, drugs or poverty, Senegal (c) Nell Freeman/Alliance Participants in the Photovioce project, Ecuador © Marcela Nievas for the Alliance
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International AIDS Candlelight Memorial


An AIDS ribbon made from candles in Malaysia (c) MAC

Sunday 20 May saw events for the 2012 International AIDS Candlelight Memorial take place in locations across the world, a time to reflect and remember those who have died of AIDS related illnesses. Alliance Linking Organisations around the world held activities to mark the day.

Started in 1983, the International AIDS Candlelight Memorial takes place every third Sunday in May and is led by a coalition of 1,200 community organisations in 115 countries.

You can find out more about the memorial on the official website.

Events around the Alliance

Alliance Linking Organisations around the world celebrated the event:

Daniel Ruiz, from IDH, the Alliance Linking Organisation in Bolivia, paid tribute to those who have died of AIDS related illnesses in a poignant message for the Candlelight Memorial. “There’s a light illuminating the soul of everyone, like a new hymn for the people who have passed and are no longer with us. But they left us something which is impossible to forget, their path through life. Many activists all around the world gave their lives so that today we can enjoy certain rights” he continued. To see Daniel’s full message click here for Spanish, or here for English.

AIDS Canlelight Memorial Day events in Cambodia (c) KHANA

In Cambodia the Alliance Linking Organisation, KHANA, and the Technical Support Hub for South East Asia and the Pacific helped to organise an event for people living with HIV at a Buddhist temple in Phnom Penh. The event coincided with Cambodia LGBT Pride 2012. At the event the head monk talked about the importance of tackling stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV.

Asociación Atlacatl in El Salvador launched a commemorative postage stamp to raise awareness about HIV. They also organised ‘Cards to the Sky’, an event where balloons with cards containing messages of solidarity tied to were released. Click here to read full list of Atlacatl’s activities in Spanish.

In Haiti, POZ and its partners organised a number of activities across the country. Messages were read out in religious ceremonies and attendees lit candles in memory of those who have died of AIDS related illnesses. Click here to read more about POZ’s activities in Spanish.

With an election looming early next year, Nelson Otwoma, the coordinator of Kenya Network of People Living with HIV and AIDS, used this year’s International Candlelight Memorial to call on politicians to established a domestic HIV fund reports Key Correspondent Henry Neondo.

In Malaysia, MAC and its partner organisations held multi-faith memorial services to remember the lives of more than 12,000 Malaysians who have died of AIDS related illnesses.

AIDS Candlelight Memorial events in Malaysia (c) MAC