SUNDAY 21 May is International AIDS Candlelight Memorial Day 2017.

On this day, we pay tribute to the memory of our lovers and friends we have lost to HIV/AIDS and remember their treasured friendships and lives. 

Today more than ever, people living with HIV (PLHIV) are experiencing a liminal moment in time.

As one of the most feared viruses in the world becomes a chronic, manageable condition in our Western world often compared to diabetes or hypertension, the weight and impact of the virus seems to have faded, if not lessened.

For those of us living with HIV in a high-income country, we are witnessing the gradual erosion of the fear and painful images of the impacts of HIV/AIDS.

Yet, the burden and effects of the virus and disease progression remains as virulent as ever in our social fabric.

HIV is more than just a bio-physical medical condition affecting health and socio-economic budgets.

Regardless of our western world benefits and privilege, HIV is still a fierce contender.

Lives are still forever changed by the infection, along with private and public pain, threat to livelihoods, and hopes and dreams are still dashed and laid aside.

“International Candlelight Memorial Day is an opportunity to acknowledge these deaths, small and large, past and present,” says Positive Life NSW CEO Craig Cooper.

“This 2017 Candlelight Vigil, hosted by Positive Life NSW and ACON, is time to come together as a community to meaningfully acknowledge and cherish our fallen brothers and sisters; friends and lovers, and acknowledge them as individuals.

“Join us as we affirm the names of loved ones shared by family members, partners, young and old, during the ceremony,” says ACON CEO Nicolas Parkhill.

“Then be part of the music and song of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Choir who return to close out the Vigil with their usual warm performance of joy and energy as we participate in the celebration of life a new together.”

Refreshments after the Vigil will provide time to reminisce, console, or share stories about past friends and their exploits with our community of all people living with HIV, our partners, friends and family.

To submit a name to be read out at the Vigil, please email candle@acon.org.au or names and donations can be lodged at the ACON website at www.candlelight.org.au.

Info: Sydney Candlelight Vigil, Sunday 21 May 2017
Doors open 4pm for 4.30pm start
The Eternity Playhouse, 39 Burton Street, Darlinghurst NSW.
To RSVP call Positive Life NSW (02) 9206-2177.

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