Add your loved ones’ names to Queensland’s World AIDS Day vigils


world aids day 2021
Image: Tina Eastley

Organisers of Queensland’s World AIDS Day vigils have invited people to submit the names of loved ones lost to the epidemic for inclusion in memorial readings this week.

World AIDS Day 2021 is on Wednesday (December 1). This year commemorates the 40th anniversary of the first official reporting of what was to become known as AIDS.

For this year’s World AIDS Day, the national theme is “40 Years of HIV. Where to next?”.

On Wednesday night, four candlelight vigils will be held across Queensland. They are:

Brisbane – NEW LOCATION: QC Warehouse space at 22 Helen Street, Teneriffe, from 6:30pm (gathering to follow vigil)
Cairns – Cairns Esplanade, Western Events Lawn, from 5:45pm (gathering to follow vigil)
Townsville – Townsville AIDS Memorial, Soroptimist Park, from 5:30pm (dinner to follow vigil)
Gold Coast – Gold Coast Regional Botanical Gardens, from 6pm

The events are a collaboration between Queensland Positive People (QPP) and Queensland Council for LGBTI Health (QC).

And in Brisbane and Cairns, organisers will read out a list of names of loved ones lost during the epidemic.

QPP have invited everyone to submit their names (first name, first name and initial, nickname, or full name) for this part of the vigils.

Email their name to wad@qpp.org.au and which of the two events you would like their name included in.

Reflecting on 40 years of HIV on World AIDS Day

Speaking ahead of World AIDS Day, Queensland Positive People CEO Melissa Warner said Australia is a world leader in HIV care. For most people living with HIV (PLHIV), it is now a manageable chronic illness.

“Most PLHIV are on effective daily treatment which allows them to live healthy, productive and vibrant lives. [It] also prevents them from passing the virus on to partners,” Warner said.

“However, unlike other chonic illnesses, 40 years on PLHIV still experience stigma and discrimination because of their HIV status, adversely impacting their quality of life.”

She said through working in partnership with people with HIV, Australia can encourage everyone to understand how HIV is transmitted.

“We can support people to access compassionate testing, treatment, and care,” she said.

“We can continue the work on developing effective treatments and potential cures.

“Finally, we can work together to dismantle stigma and discrimination around HIV where it still exists in our communities.”

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