International AIDS Candlelight Memorial
The International AIDS Candlelight Memorial serves as a community mobilisation campaign to raise social awareness about HIV and AIDS. The International AIDs Candlelight Memorial is an important intervention for global solidarity to break down barriers of stigma and discrimination.Thus, giving hope to the new generations.
The Candlelight Memorial began in 1983 when HIV and how it was transmitted was still in the discovery stage. Four young men who were infected with HIV decided to put a’ face on the disease’ by coordinating a small vigil with the banner reading ‘Fighting For Our Lives’. They planned a march through San Francisco gay district and was joined by others.
For many people, community mobilisation for the International AIDS Candlelight Memorial starts on World AIDS Day on December 1. The community mobilisation lasts until International AIDS Candlelight Memorial on the third Sunday of May.
The Memorials range from small community vigils to multi-day national commemorations. Organisers of the memorials use the International AIDS Candlelight Memorial as an opportunity to promote local HIV services, advocate for the advancement of public policy towards AIDS and to encourage education and community dialogue.
The Memorials include candle lighting, marches, speeches, performances as well as spiritual and cultural rituals.