International AIDS Candlelight Memorial 2024: Five Facts about H.I.V. and AIDS

May 19 marks the International AIDS Candlelight Memorial, commemorating AIDS deaths and recognizing AIDS-related professionals, raising awareness and promoting community mobilization.

International AIDS Candlelight Memorial 2024: This year, May 19 marks the International AIDS Candlelight Memorial, which is observed on the third Sunday of May. Two such occasions are commemorating the lives lost to acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) and recognizing individuals who have devoted their careers to assisting those infected with and afflicted with human immunodeficiency virus (H.I.V). Since 1983, when H.I.V.-positive individuals initiated an annual candlelight ceremony, countless gatherings have taken place across the globe. The occurrence of these incidents has led to an increase in awareness regarding H.I.V. Additionally, the memorial is a community mobilization movement. By means of this memorial, the prejudice and stigma linked to the illness are confronted; consequently, forthcoming generations are instilled with optimism.

International AIDS Candlelight Memorial: History

The 1983 International AIDS Candlelight Memorial in New York City and San Francisco did not reveal the cause of AIDS, which was attributed to H.I.V. few thousand deaths were reported. The ceremony commemorated AIDS victims and showed solidarity with those currently suffering. The event stays focused on that today. Over 28 million people have died from AIDS since 1981, and over 42 million survive with HIV/AIDS.

Visit the International AIDS Candlelight Memorial to mourn loved ones who died from the disease. This celebration reinforces these goals and strengthens community and national will to fight AIDS, which affects millions worldwide. This memorial can raise awareness, understanding, and community fundraising and volunteering. Thus, HIV/AIDS-conscious people from diverse origins gather in large cities. Regardless of the conditions, the event creates global connection and attention.

People from throughout the world view the memorial in many ways, reflecting their diversity. Each coordinator or organizer can customize the memorial for their community. A few family and friends can organize a thousand-strong march through cities holding candles, singing, and vigiling.

International AIDS Candlelight Memorial: FAQs

What should an individual infected with H.I.V. do?

Individuals who have received a positive H.I.V. test result should seek medical attention immediately. They must attend regular examinations, adhere strictly to the prescribed medication regimen, and exercise utmost caution to prevent the transmission of the virus to others.

Is there a distinction between AIDS and H.I.V.?

Yes. Although anyone with H.I.V. has AIDS, not all individuals with H.I.V. will develop the disease. AIDS also referred to as “late stage H.I.V.” or illness-causing H.I.V. infection without treatment, is another name for AIDS.

Why should expectant women undergo H.I.V. testing?

By doing so, the potential for the women to transmit the virus to their expectant children is substantially diminished if they test positive for HIV.

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International AIDS Candlelight Memorial: Activities

Attend a memorial lit by candles

A candlelight memorial may be held in your neighborhood or community. Join as many individuals as possible in paying respects to those who have died as a result of AIDS. During the memorial, remember to bring your luminary and observe all protocols and safety precautions.

Serve as a volunteer candlelight coordinator

A candlelight coordinator may be any individual who desires to participate in and serve at the memorial. Coordinators comprise individuals from diverse professional backgrounds, including physicians, nurses, educators, students, researchers, business proprietors, and members of religious institutions. In addition to universities and nonprofit organizations, healthcare facilities, and foundations are adequately represented.

Engage in the proceeding

Educating and increasing public awareness regarding HIV/AIDS can assist in diminishing the stigma associated with the disease. Facilitate community engagement in the fight against HIV/AIDS and contribute to the advancement of dialogue and advocacy concerning the prevention and treatment of AIDS.

Five Facts about HIV/AIDS

Transmission via intercourse or sharing needles

H.I.V. differs from the common cold and influenza in that it is transmitted primarily through anal or vaginal intercourse with an infected partner, sharing needles and other drug injection devices, or pregnancy-to-fetus transmission.

A greater number of women are affected by AIDS.

Women and females constitute over 50% of the global population afflicted with HIV.

No AIDS vaccine exists at this time.

A vaccine to prevent AIDS is not currently available, even though scientists have devoted years to developing one.

Antiretroviral medications can inhibit H.I.V. infection.

Antiretroviral therapy (ART) can control H.I.V. infection by diminishing viral loads, allowing infected individuals to maintain a healthy and prolonged life expectancy.

Approximately 37.7 million individuals are infected with H.I.V.

Approximately 37.7 million individuals were infected with H.I.V. after 2020.

International AIDS Candlelight Memorial: Importance

It permits us time to lament.

This occasion serves as a reminder to pause, reflect, and offer a prayer for our departed loved ones who perished as a result of the AIDS epidemic. In particular, the candlelight procession permits us to mourn for them.

It signifies that we are not alone.

The International AIDS Candlelight Memorial unites individuals from every sector of society in their concerted effort to eliminate this worldwide pandemic. It serves to remind us that our sorrow and our endeavors to contain its proliferation are not in isolation.

Hope endures forever.

Those living with H.I.V. are given optimism by the memorial, which states that normal lives are possible so long as all medical treatment protocols are adhered to. Individuals living with H.I.V. can find solace in the principle “undetectable equals untransmittable” (U=U), which states that the infection cannot be transmitted by those who maintain an undetectable viral load for a minimum of six months.

International AIDS Candlelight Memorial: Dates

2024May 19Sunday
2025May 18Sunday
2026May 17Sunday

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