The International AIDS Candlelight Memorial, observed annually in the third Sunday of May, serves as a community mobilization campaign to raise social consciousness about HIV and AIDS. It serves as an important intervention for global solidarity, breaking down barriers of stigma and discrimination, and giving hope to new generations.
“Ending AIDS Together” is the theme for the 2017 Candlelight Memorial which takes place on the 21st of May.
“Candlelight Memorial calls for strong leadership and commitment of governments, communities and individuals to join their efforts around concerted and targeted actions towards ensuring a better future for people living with HIV. Tolerance, acceptance, care, support and respect are the main values, which will guide us on the journey towards ending AIDS!”, noted Dafina Gercheva, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative.
On this occasion, information and awareness events are organized in several cities of Moldova.
On May 21, in Chisinau, in the Public Garden “Stefan cel Mare” (Pushkin Central Park), from 11 am to 4 pm, the action “I know. I Support. I join” will be organized. During it everyone interested will have the possibility to take a rapid test to detect simultaneously and quickly HIV, syphilis and hepatitis C. Volunteers will distribute informational materials to everyone.
At 9 pm, a press briefing will be held in the National Square (Piata Marii Adunari Nationale), with the participation of the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Labor, Social Protection and Family, Ministry of Justice and the one of Internal Affairs, representatives from UNAIDS Moldova and NGO “Positive Initiative”.
At 9:15 pm, a Flashmob “Commemoration Light” will start: thousands of people with candles will form a red ribbon - a symbol of tolerant attitude towards people living with HIV.
At the global level, there are 36.7 million of people living with HIV, but only 60% know they are HIV positive and less than a half have access to antiretroviral treatment.
In the Republic of Moldova, 832 HIV cases were registered in 2016. The cumulative number of registered HIV cases is of 11,043 persons. During the year 2016 there were 246 deaths among HIV + people, cumulative number is 3,137 people from the beginning of the epidemic. At the end of 2016, 4,491 people were on antiretroviral treatment.
The organizer of the campaign is the NGO ”Positive Initiative”, in partnership with UNAIDS and UNODC Moldova, with the support of the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Labor, Social Protection and Family, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Internal Affairs, General Inspectorate of Police, General Office of Probation; Department of Penitentiary Institution, with financial support of PAS Center (from Global Fund grant), UN Agencies and the Swedish Embassy in Moldova.