Community organisations around Australia will host candlelight memorials next weekend to remember those lost to AIDS and bring awareness to the experiences of people living with HIV.

The third Sunday of May each year sees the International AIDS Candlelight Memorials.

This year’s theme is ‘Reflecting on our past, preparing for our future’.

Memorial events will be held around the country, including in Canberra, Sydney, MelbournePerth, Alice Springs, and Darwin.

The AIDS Action Council will host Canberra’s 35th Candlelight Memorial at the Great Hall of University House at Australian National University on Sunday May 20.

The memorial will provide an opportunity for people impacted by HIV and AIDS to join in solidarity, reflect on the past and prepare for the future.

Guests at the Canberra memorial will hear from AIDS Action Council president Dr Tim Dyke, and leading HIV advocates, including Sarah Feagan and Bill Paterson, who will share their reflections on the past and how it informs preparing for the future.

“It is a real privilege for the Council to host such esteemed community members,” said Philippa Moss, executive director of the AIDS Action Council.

“The insights of Sarah and Bill, as people living with HIV, will bring depth and meaning to this year’s theme.

“We are also very pleased to have renowned Canberra media personality Genevieve Jacobs host this year’s memorial.”

The Canberra Gay and Lesbian Qwire will perform at the memorial.

“We welcome all Canberrans and those from across the region to join dignitaries and our special guests for the important memorial,” said Moss.

The Canberra memorial will welcome guests from 3:45 pm on Sunday May 20, with the event running from 4 pm to 6 pm.

More than 26,000 people in Australia are living with HIV.

The biggest issues affecting people living with HIV are often reported to be discrimination and stigma.

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