Guyana joined the rest of the world in recognition of the International AIDS Candlelight Memorial under the theme “Many Lights for Human Rights” at the St. George’s Cathedral Sunday in Georgetown.
According to Society against Sexual Orientation Discrimination (SASOD) co-chair Namela Baynes-Henry, the International AIDS Candlelight Memorial is in commemoration of all the people, friends, colleagues, and loved ones who have died from or have been affected by HIV.
She said that the memorial is being held under the theme “Many Lights for Human Rights”.
The aim is to reduce stigma and discrimination; to ensure universal access to prevention, treatment, and care; to increase resources for HIV and AIDS; and to promote greater involvement of affected and infected communities in the HIV response.
The SASOD co-chair stated that the Global Health Council was the first public event for AIDS awareness (1983).
This annual event is a commemoration of all the people, friends, colleagues, and loved ones who have died from or have been affected by the scourge of AIDS.
At the event, participants recalled names of friends, colleagues, and relatives that were affected or infected with HIV and who had died.
The memorial was hosted by SASOD to bring together members of the community, policy makers, health professionals, religious leaders and members of the public to share messages of hope, to express sentiments in prose, poetry, dance and song, to light candles and to observe a moment of silence “for those lives we have lost to AIDS.”
SASOD is a group based in Guyana. It is committed to eradicating discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation. It started work in 2003 with the campaign to include sexual orientation as one of the fundamental rights in the Guyana constitution, and has since been working on promotion of rights for gay and lesbian people.
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