Article Title:AIDS candlelight memorials around NZ
Category:New Zealand Daily News
Author or Credit:GayNZ.com News Staff
Published on:20th May 2004 - 12:00 pm
Published by:GayNZ.com
Story ID:2336
Text:A series of candelight memorials for AIDS around the country this week have focussed on remembrance and a need to remain vigilant in the face of a second wave of HIV. Around 100 people were present in Wellington to hear speeches from MP Marian Hobbs, who acknowledged her personal experience of being affected by HIV within her family, and 91ZM's Pauline Gillespie. The NZAF's Simon Robb and Gordon Chapple spoke of the increases in HIV rates over the last few years and read messages of support from Prime Minister Helen Clark and the Governor General. Hamilton hosted over 30 people in the Chartwell Room of the Hamilton Gardens, with four speakers delivering a different perspective on the impact of HIV/AIDS on their lives, including Hamilton East MP Dianne Yates, local councillor and TV personality Bill Ward, the NZAF's Geoff Rua-ine, Waikato sexual health specialist Dr Graham Mills and Catherine Adams, who spoke of her VSA experience in Zimbabwe. Christchurch hosted a crowd of 60 including representatives from local African communities in the Great Hall. Several AIDS quilt blocks received a karanga as they were brought in to the Hall by volunteers from the congregation of All Saints, the Rodger Wright Centre, and Union and Community Health. Robin Furley, regional coordinator of NZAF South, spoke about the continuing epidemic in NZ 21 years on, and the hard road walked by people living with HIV. Hugh, from the Positive Speakers Bureau, talked about the responses he faced when first diagnosed with HIV 18 years ago, and the importance of remembering the effect of HIV on people's lovers, partners and families.    
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