Article Title:NZ's Candlelight Memorial 2009
Author or Credit:NZ AIDS Foundation
Published on:7th May 2009 - 10:55 pm
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Story ID:7442
Text:This Sunday, New Zealanders across the country will be among the first people in the world to light candles to mark the 26th Annual International AIDS Candlelight Memorial. In New Zealand the International AIDS Candlelight Memorial will be marked in Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington, Christchurch and Invercargill by hundreds of people. People who are living with HIV, and people who are affected by HIV, will gather to celebrate the lives and honour those who have died of AIDS. Started in 1983, the historic Candlelight Memorial is one of the oldest and largest worldwide events focused on HIV awareness and advocacy and is a program of the Global Health Council. The International AIDS Candlelight Memorial is led by over 1,000 organizations in more than 100 countries to remember the lost, support those living with HIV, and move both individuals and communities to action. "The theme for 2009 is 'together, we are the solution," Eamonn Smythe, International Candlelight Coordinator for East Asia and Oceania says, " and I want to reiterate the message developed by this international board." "In this memorial, we declare our solidarity in the response to HIV and AIDS, and recommit ourselves to the cause," Smythe says. "We call on the leaders of New Zealand and globally to hear our voices, honour pledges, increase access to prevention, treatment and care. Calling upon national and community leaders to serve as examples and including people living with HIV in the formation of programs. On business to invest and institutions of faith to be more inclusive, and on media to ensure accurate reporting helping us share stories that deal with the lives of real people." Five candlelight Memorial services will be held around NZ this Sunday 17th May 2008: Auckland – 6pm at St Matthew-in-the-City Hamilton – 6:30pm at the Celebrating Age Centre Wellington – 6.30pm at St Andrew's on the Terrace Christchurch – 7pm at the Art Centre Great Hall Invercargill – 6pm at Bluff Hill. NZ AIDS Foundation - 7th May 2009    
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