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International AIDS Candlelight Memorial (2019)

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[00:00:00] This program is brought to you by pride in z.com. [00:03:37] The International AIDS count candlelight memorial is much more than just a memorial. The International AIDS candlelight Memorial serves as a community mobilization campaign, and to raise social consciousness about HIV and AIDS. The memorial serves as an important intervention for global [00:04:00] Solidarity, breaking down barriers of stigma and discrimination, and given hope to new generations. Leadership by people living with HIV and affected by HIV is important part of the International AIDS count candlelight Memorial as long as the education and social interaction. [00:04:21] So each year the New Zealand political parties share their vision and support for those living with HIV and their supporters. So I'd like to invite bill to read the letter from the Governor General [00:04:37] Government House New Zealand [00:04:40] 36 years ago, the first candle match to bring aids out of the dark and into the light of public awareness took place in San Francisco [00:04:54] and the year since the tradition of candlelight vigils, and matches for [00:05:00] AIDS awareness has served both as a memorial and as a platform for activism or around the world [00:05:09] is important to take a moment to think of those who are no longer with us, and those for whom life with HIV AIDS is a daily reality is equally important to continue to push for better treatments, and in stigmatization for all people living with HIV AIDS. [00:05:35] treatment and knowledge of HIV AIDS has improved greatly in New Zealand since 1983. In other parts of the world, the situation is vastly different, with treatment not so easily available, and people with HIV AIDS forced into the shadows. [00:05:55] The theme for this year's events intensive [00:06:00] fighting the fight for health and rights is a reminder that we all still need to work to keep these issues in the public eye. lives depend on it. [00:06:15] I send my best wishes to everyone attending this year's Memorial. [00:06:22] Signed, Dame petsy ready, Governor General of New Zealand. [00:06:29] Thanks Well, I'd like to now invite me to read a letter from our Prime Minister. [00:06:38] This is a message from the Labour leader just enjoyed in the 2019 International AIDS candlelit memorial service. [00:06:45] I'd like to send my support and our hearts everyone gathered for this year's International AIDS candlelight memorial to many have lost loved ones and friends to AIDS and today we remember all of those who are no longer with us. [00:06:57] Last year, we celebrated a significant drop [00:07:00] In the number of New Zealanders diagnosed with HIV, this is good news. But we know there is still more to do. We're committed to continuing this work alongside those dedicated organizations that day in and day out, and to take important work on HIV and AIDS. [00:07:17] Whether you're providing health care or taking part in advocacy, and education, thank you. Your efforts are saving lives, changing attitudes, and making a difference. I'd also like to acknowledge all those New Zealanders living with HIV. I hope those perspectives and experience you bring leads to changes that we need. [00:07:37] I'm proud of the work our government has done in this space including making sure PrEP is funded by fak. I look forward to continuing this work in the year ahead. Together, we can end the transmission of HIV and make sure everyone is able to receive the health care and support they need. [00:07:56] Thank you and there are the all the letters from the [00:08:00] Political parties that are on display in the entrance of the whole. [00:08:06] I'd like to invite Trish to stage play. So Trish has an experience of a spiritual guide, chaplain and mental health content context counselor, educator and writer. [00:08:26] Trish will speak about our experiences and involvement in the community over to my life. Thank you, [00:08:33] Tessa. [00:08:35] I feel very humbled after watching the stories and simply being asked to come and talk to you tonight. I was a volunteer [00:08:49] SFA now through the most of the 1990s it was a huge learning curve for me and some very precious memories. [00:09:00] Raise of the things that happened to this I attended or became involved and ordained. [00:09:08] The first one I want to talk about is my first candlelight Memorial 1991. [00:09:16] Parliament grounds [00:09:19] that Dak [00:09:23] scary actually, [00:09:25] and the speech of [00:09:28] Dr. Ed Rotenberg saying there's a cure for AIDS. [00:09:35] That's love because love takes away the fear. [00:09:41] Tom O'Donoghue [00:09:44] that caught him rang a Tierra community [00:09:48] saying, I am a gay man and I'm HIV positive. I'd never heard anyone saying that before ever. Leave us alone in front of an audience of it. [00:10:00] Don't know 500 1000 a lot of people [00:10:07] and then up the main driveway of Parliament, and down the steps from behind the General Assembly library came this [00:10:18] astonishing spectacle to positions of people with flaming torches. [00:10:27] Now they sticks this long and flames that long. [00:10:33] It was spine tingling, and it was a real medieval spectacle. And these people stood in a circle on the forecourt of Parliament and the hundred and 79 names of people who had died and you say London at that point were read out [00:10:56] and seen [00:10:59] towards [00:11:00] The end of that part of the ceremony. [00:11:04] The bells at St. Paul's Cathedral, told there was a choir singing Grant us peace. And then the were the fireworks, the great stairs of celebration, and heart. [00:11:22] So it was just an amazing experience for me of a community through speaking at the time when truth speaking had its significant hazards. [00:11:38] Now, but more about Tom. [00:11:41] He was an educator. He touched people in all sorts of settings. He spoken prisoners he talked to the place to educate them. He went to Parliament and lobbied for the rights and legislation [00:12:00] And his passion was encouraging people and disclosure because living with the burden of secrecy was too hard. [00:12:12] And I'd encourage you to have a look at him online and just see the breadth of this man's [00:12:21] experience and wisdom. [00:12:24] His funeral is all simples. He was six years from diagnosis and 88 through to 94. [00:12:33] People from so many walks of life, Alex as a trans woman said he stopped me committing suicide. He taught me to look inside myself. [00:12:45] Throw by the rubbish and Trisha the wrist. [00:12:51] Catherine Reagan who was the Minister of Health at that stage, she cried because he'd made such a huge impression on [00:13:00] With his multiple visits to his office, [00:13:04] so, yes, look up one of your, [00:13:09] your forefathers [00:13:12] and other of the heroes. And the other person that I wanted to talk about is Paul abric Kelly, who was a tiny little Catholic nun, who was quite terrified when she offered herself as a volunteer somewhere in the late 80s. [00:13:32] She [00:13:34] had been a teacher and she became the Education Officer and human rights officer for a famous center. [00:13:43] She [00:13:45] is she just became a half of that of that community. She mentored me when I was terrified. And she said to me, you get on the and you love and you will be the one to gain and [00:14:00] It was. [00:14:03] So Paula [00:14:06] was policing couples back in the 1980s. I don't know that the cardinal was very chuffed. But Paula was poor and she knew truth when she thought when she heard us when she listened to the stories, and she taught me a great deal. [00:14:29] So I just want to encourage all of you, [00:14:33] because the community I encountered at that point [00:14:39] was so [00:14:41] accepting, so focused on [00:14:47] preserving an honoring manner [00:14:50] was so focused on courage of being together [00:14:55] and even back then was looking at the fights [00:15:00] Health and rights. [00:15:03] So the other thing that I wanted to say about Paula was that in the early days, she [00:15:11] and others recognize that this concerned women, as well. [00:15:17] Two things that she was part of initiating. One was a support group for the mums, the sisters, the wives, the girlfriends and the first two or three women while I was there who were HIV positive, because as hadn't been [00:15:38] a virus that affected women until people started going, Oh, yes, it does. [00:15:44] And the other thing was beginning a, [00:15:49] an information process for women. And so there was a committee again that I was a tiny part of with Catherine Haley and Paula [00:16:00] A few other health related people put together the first information, I think in the country for women and AIDS. So I'd like to kind of give this to anybody here who's interested in that story. [00:16:19] So yes, the courage, yes, the love. And I just want to say encourage you to honor the history that you've seen the history of the people here in Wellington. It's your history and while you are busy intensifying the right for fight for health and rights. Keep treasuring where you've come from keep treasuring [00:16:46] the people who have been the heroes and the community here in Wellington. And so just keep that kappa of love of respect. [00:17:00] Courage, but most of all the love because love takes away the fear. [00:17:15] Okay, so tonight we have members of the health support service sectors. here to answer some questions from the community. And leading this panel is Richard tankersley. [00:17:29] So Richard is a marriage celebrant with a diverse with a diverse work and life experience and different cultures and health human rights and social services and administration, event management, theater and community development. Really. [00:17:48] That's fabulous. Yeah, but you still doing it though your phone rings around some of us humans as humans. How come you're [00:17:56] including within what's in no way limited? [00:18:00] To a way, Marty, and LGBT community. So Richard, over to you, darling [00:18:06] of Kyoto, Kyoto. And first of all, thank you to the organizing group for inviting me to take a part in this, this evenings Memorial. And I'm feel pretty privileged. I've only been living in Wellington for six months. So to get an invite at such after such a short tenure is very flattering. So thank you very much. And so today's questions were compiled by members of the community and there'll be time for some audience participation. At the end. The first set of questions will be directed to individual members of the panel, followed by a set of statements with questions to the panel as a whole. And when panelists introduce themselves, I will invite them to Well, sorry. [00:18:54] We may speak, I'll first I'll ask them to let us know if they're interested in taking [00:19:00] Your questions over coffee later on. And that way will increase the engagement with our with our audience. But during the session, I am going to going to ask panelists to be pretty brief and their answers given that we've got quite a few questions. We've got four panelists, and theoretically useless, but it's going to last 25 minutes. So I look forward to seeing if we can manage that. But anyway, in no particular order. I'm going to introduce our panelists, Ab leotta, having a career in both the not for profit, not for profit and private sectors, and he's motivated by people and the power of a voice. She's also patient about the positive speaker's bureau program, would you please give her a hand. [00:19:47] Alex Anderson instead is real health regional manager working with both the Athena Wellington center in to talk about Christ gh teams to help ensure they offer a range of services that meet the needs of the priority public. [00:20:00] collations Please welcome Alex. [00:20:06] Matt sharp is as you've seen the co founder of the Pooh toy project, and Wellington's peer navigator for body positive, this role supports newly diagnosed people with HIV. Matt is also a host for the monthly body positive social and made up his name's please a hand from it. [00:20:29] And last but not least, James rice Davies is a new specialist in mental health, palliative care and HIV and remains very passionate about HIV after 30 years of working in this area, please would you give them a round of [00:20:47] I'm gonna sit down now and I'm gonna ask my questions from the cheer. [00:20:51] I call it cheering that name right. Okay. The first question is for AB sorry, the first questions for Alex [00:21:01] descript Lx what can we do to reduce stigma against people living with HIV? [00:21:07] Yeah, this is a really big question. I think I might need to give each of the panel members a really quick moment to speak about this because each of the organization's is doing something really special. The one thing I'll quickly say is that [00:21:20] stigma looks different in every single space. And I think there's a huge difference between stigmas and the workplace, or other places that you may face in society. And then online, particularly with many have sex with men say, on Grindr and other spaces. And I'm really very thoughtful about this. [00:21:36] You know, we did some great stuff as ever, with the body positive around addressing stigma based on the fact that a comma Brunton survey said that [00:21:45] 46% of people were concerned of someone with HIV cook them food, and so working with body positivity or the bad guy out, we were able to deliver us a store with exactly that and really confront those ideas and that stigma straight on it. [00:22:02] So some things we're doing to reduce stigma is just having a social group really helps people. It's quite an open forum where people can come and participate or feel included in the community, the project. So it came out of a [00:22:17] workshop about how we can reduce stigma in our society and in our community. So there's one project that kind of came to fruition. [00:22:26] And of course, the positive speaker's bureau is about empowering people living with HIV to be the educators and be the face of HIV and to help reduce stigma so [00:22:38] thank you. [00:22:41] Good. I'm gonna follow up now with a question for Matt. What is u equals u? [00:22:48] So you can we do equals entrance so an undetectable equals on transmittable? So basically, it means that there's somebody suffering with it [00:23:00] The insulin treatment and they have understood undetectable viral load from for more than six months. HIV is not passed on through six even if condoms aren't used. [00:23:12] And the movement works to dismantle HIV stigma, improve the lives of people living with HIV and in the global HIV epidemic. Thank you. Thank you. So if you hand the microphone to Evie. Evie might tell us how his you equals you impacted on couples having children. Sure. [00:23:32] So u equals u has actually been practiced in the heterosexual community around reproductive health and rights, I think for at least since 2008, where this was study. So what u equals u has done for us has ratified what a practice that we've been doing and really validated that in enforced. [00:23:55] I guess that the message that it's actually okay but primarily [00:24:00] I think it's changed the capitals living and fear of inflicting a loved one. And I think for anyone living with HIV will relate that nobody ever wants to hurt someone they love and in having not having to live in that fear anymore, and that they can have a beautiful, loving relationship. Thank you. [00:24:24] While we're talking about you equals you, maybe James could answer a question first. [00:24:32] James is the U equals u and prep campaign influencing the rise and other STDs. [00:24:40] And [00:24:46] I'll ignore the second part because my thought is is that [00:24:54] you gives you isn't isn't increasing. The rate of STI is over [00:25:00] The use of prep, my glass tends to be half full. And my thought is, is that [00:25:07] people who are on the prep program are also having regular sexual health checkups on a three monthly basis as a way forward of getting their prep script as such. So if anything, I think what we should be looking at is that prappas searches, engaging people around their sexual health for the first time. We've got a program that engages people to come into the health services, get a full STI screen and pick up their prep script if that's what they're there for. And I think I think it's a way a way forward rather than seeing it as what some people see it as being a license just to have lots of unprotected sex and and potentially the rate of his STI is will rise. I'm not I'm not convinced that's the case. Thanks, James. Have you hang on to the microphone or might he [00:26:00] We follow up with a second question for you, James are the laws in New Zealand that protect the confidentiality and human rights of people living with HIV? [00:26:14] I suppose the the laws that we have in New Zealand and we're lucky compared to other countries in the world is, is that, for example, [00:26:23] same sex relationships, you don't go to prison sex work, you don't go to prison. And I suppose from that point of view, we do have laws that protect human rights in that way. [00:26:35] those groups can be overly affected by the rate of HIV. But at least when they access health care, they're not frightened that they're then going to be put in prison. On top of that, so I suppose from a point of view of human rights, I suppose living in New Zealand, I suppose we do have [00:26:53] the law some good basic laws that protect us [00:26:58] and as far as competition [00:27:00] Reality is concerned. [00:27:02] I don't think there's any extra laws as far as confidentiality is concerned around HIV, but [00:27:09] in a healthcare setting, but obviously anybody with any type of diagnosis who attends a service, whether it's for breast cancer or whether it's, you know, to, you know, to have the, you know, a new hip, the confidentiality is such as that if you're caring for that person you cannot disclose to your friends or loved ones when you go home. Those are [00:27:35] the people's names that you've been looking at after at work. So to my knowledge, there isn't anything extra that protects HIV is Information Privacy, [00:27:45] the name of the protecting legislation or the code that comes out of the health Privacy Act. [00:27:52] k met time for another question for me [00:27:57] and it's it's a it's a two pronged way [00:28:00] Well, what's the focus of support networks like body positive and the AIDS Foundation? Now the number of HIV cases has been declining and release support networks look further afield now there are cases of other untreatable STDs appearing in New Zealand. So two prongs. Okay. First question. So I work really focuses on supporting people to engage and remain in care. [00:28:26] So we work working on other parts of their lives, which may affect their ability to focus on their health, such as stigma, which we talked about before loneliness, isolation, addiction issues, mental health issues and overcome things like that. [00:28:42] And the second part of Christian, [00:28:45] extra Berman, syphilis is quite an epidemic and you sell them at the moment especially among [00:28:51] men having sex with men. So removing these barriers, that people get tested and treated easily, the things like HIV hypsi [00:29:00] syphilis is important for our entire community. [00:29:05] There's actually been two cases of anti bacterial resistant gonorrhea recorded. And Australia both traded, not in detail and so far. But it's important that we don't build, build fear around [00:29:18] misty eyes, and just encourage people to engage in testing and treatment and not be afraid to notify the partners interest twisters with [00:29:28] any of the other organizations want to respond to that question. I know it was directed at me, but no, or they hit me with the answer we can exceptional. And I just want to say that really, all of our services are funded by the Ministry of Health and they almost sit because of the funding what we do and don't in regards to priority populations. And look, we'd all love to work with as many people as we can and keep this fight but at least we get the money to do the work. We just keep stretching our resources thinner and thinner. And I guess it's something that we're all you know, continually thinking about [00:30:00] I can't speak for others, but we've not had an increase in our funding for over teenies. So we're working on the same money and so it's, you know, yeah, really tight. [00:30:10] Thank you. And every question for you can a woman living with HIV pass the virus on to her unborn baby? [00:30:20] If a woman is on effective treatment, the risk is less than 1%. Unfortunately, for those that don't know that they're HIV positive, or don't have access to treatment, the rest range ranges between 25 and 45%. So really, we're looking at risk if you're on individual medication that there's almost cancels out any risk. So in New Zealand, when we've known that mums have been HIV positive, there's been no babies born and New Zealand HIV positive, since I can't remember the exact date [00:31:00] a very long time. So yeah, it's looking very good. Thank you very much. We're going now to our last of the individual questions. And we're back to Alex. And I've kept you for last because this is a looking forward question. Alex, what's next on the campaign trail for HIV, HIV awareness in New Zealand. [00:31:20] I can only speak from the nice nice Foundation, and you might want to check some stuff. And afterwards, three years ago, we had a big change transformational in regards of an organization with historically been HIV prevention and really focusing on condoms. Luckily, we're getting way more HIV prevention tools and our belts now. And so when we look at things like still condoms, but u equals u, we look at tests or treatment as prevention. [00:31:48] We look at to you know, create, keeping people engaged with healthcare and promoting testing. It's probably something really asked I'm missing prayer, of course, How can I forget that? You know, these are these are tools that are really, truly [00:32:00] changing the landscape. And it's really about how do we communicate this so that the average New Zealander actually understands it, because I think this loops back to stigma. I've recently moved down to Wellington, I was just here really quick story with you. I was living with my niece, really smart switched on the young lady and her partner, and asked me So, you know, what is this? What do you actually do and what's changed? And I'm like, Well, do you know about preparedness as a medication? This is what it does. And I could literally hear the brain cells exploding, like, you know, oh, my God, you mean that you can take medication now? And you're actually at no risk of passing or something? Oh, you know, there's just the ideas that we have in our society, for a large chunk of people are very outdated. And so I believe the more we can work on the general population level, as well as those that are most impacted by HIV is really the key book we need to do. Yeah, thank you. It's about making our service more accessible, acceptable to everybody, I guess, in a nutshell. [00:32:54] We happy to move on from that point. Thank you very much. So we've bought [00:33:00] can do a timesheet without organizers. [00:33:03] One more minute. [00:33:05] Just when we get to the question for the whole panel, he says I've got one more minute. So this is for each of your organizations. How do you evaluate programs that you've instigated to affect change and as an internal or external and independent? So what are your evaluation programs like for that for the work that you do? [00:33:26] Very briefly, yeah, from from a healthcare point of view, then obviously, what we're able to do is monitor that. There's 430 people in the Wellington region who are diagnosed with HIV and about 80 people who aren't diagnosed for the 430 people who attend the Wellington service. then [00:33:47] going back to the you equals you policy is that 97% of all our patients hit undetectable viral load new virus in the blood. So that's easy from a point of view of saying, you know, [00:34:00] There's very few people who choose not to take treatment after diagnosis. And the people who do take treatment, have no virus in their blood. They haven't got rid of it, but they've been able to switch it off and put it to sleep. And that's because they take treatment daily. So from that point of view, Wellington and the whole of New Zealand does very well, as far as hitting undetectable levels for the people who engage in care. So clinical evaluation techniques. [00:34:27] Yep. So for those people who are using our services for testing or for accessing therapeutic care, I'm sorry that a counselor, they we asked them to provide us feedback at the end of their career. So we really came this week working for you as what we're doing accessible and acceptable. But we also every six months, we assume that goes out and that's for 1000 emails seem to understand our social media messages getting out there and guards to HIV prevention tools, and how is this impacting behavior change in regards to adopting some of those deaths handled by an external company? [00:35:01] Rather than done and we seen those out but there was also one other piece of that which was the gaps and God survey which was an externally funded by the Ministry of Health and unfortunately it's stopped about four years ago. I have heard the local government or the government is going to reengage this Fingers crossed they keep their their promise because it really is an exceptionally valuable tool to look into the insights of enhancing [00:35:23] supportive positive positive usually works at the individual level. And assessment is performed internally with each person to assess how invention has worked, usually be continued to be engaged with individuals until satisfactory outcome as a good [00:35:42] follow up in the also re engage with a New Zealand stigma index which will provide a baseline of stigma as experienced by individual people living with HIV and will be able to track and change over time. [00:35:56] Specifically the positive speaker's bureau, we do [00:36:00] called triangulation. I love that word. And we are we. [00:36:05] So we offer a free service, where they are trained speakers. And we gather data. So feedback from the host, the person that's booked to make sure that we're meeting the expectations, we get feedback from the audience to say how impacted them or affected them. And we also ask the speaker because, you know, and then we look at all of that data together to see if we felt that it may meet what we were trying to achieve. Okay. Yeah, I've got one more question for the whole panel. You've got 15 seconds, he will start with me. Okay. What are we doing to encourage the majority of people living in stable relationships and aware of their partner status to get tested? And we're doing to encourage those? [00:36:48] Sure, look, New Zealand has lost two women to AIDS, undiagnosed, like diagnosis and the last couple of years and so we've done recently done a campaign around time. [00:37:00] Yeah, and her legacy of her family. So it's just around, get tested, you know, women get HIV tau. [00:37:08] And you know, I always say, if you want to test me then you know what, why why wouldn't you? Why wouldn't you to somebody so yeah, [00:37:18] I'm with you because you, most people living with HIV and so with you because you know people living with HIV are in stable relationships and are not infectious. And by removing the stigma around HIV, I would assume that the partner is aware of the status and has been engaged in testing already. [00:37:36] Ongoing testing isn't necessary as equals you who really does work. [00:37:42] For us, and in space, we have an annual drive on testing which goes out to a wide range of people. We're also doing some stuff around home testing kits, we were able to send kits out to anywhere in New Zealand that allow people to create the to the test by themselves at home. So that can be good to know right up to chi tire, so [00:38:00] It's about getting tested those that are dispersed and maybe able and able to access testing differently. [00:38:07] And from my point of view, it's more around education for healthcare providers. And there's still a lot of barriers as far as offering HIV test is concerned, even in GP practice, says because there's very much 1980s 1990s, thinking about HIV. So it's from my point of view is more around education of healthcare providers, and trying to lower some of those barriers and make them facilitating more easier access to testing. Thank you. Well, that comes to the end of our formal questions that were submitted by the community before we begin the the event. Just wondering if we do have a couple of minutes for one or two questions from the floor. [00:38:51] If anyone would like to ask a question or make a comment, there is some space now for you to do that. [00:39:01] Do you think that there will be a law change where now that HIV positive, people have to declare the status if they do use condoms, condoms, sex, but now that you equals you is around and they know that they're undetectable? Will that be a law change? [00:39:19] Do you in your opinion, I think, potentially what will happen is is that and so what Lee's referring to is that you don't have to disclose the HIV status as long as you're using condoms. Yep. But you could end up going to court if you didn't use condoms and didn't disclose with you equals you are undetectable viral load. It would be nice that we if we could change the law. [00:39:48] Now to say that if somebody is undetectable, they can't pass on HIV. So why would they end up in court? I think most probably what'll end up happening is is that somebody will [00:40:00] going to court who's undetectable? Who hasn't passed it on and lachelle make the change rather than us doing something proactively, if you see what I mean, I think I think that's the side bit of it. [00:40:12] point in the panel, [00:40:14] done some stuff on the show. I got I had a funny feeling France is actually really leading the Syria. And I remember reading something that they've actually progressed some laws around us. So watch the space. I think people are already moving on the summit was may not have [00:40:28] a parliament. There we go. Yeah. [00:40:32] I'd like it. Sorry. And I'd like it to be recognized by the Ministry of Health is is a treatment of treatment first, and then and then look to to the law to trickle down, but it's a proactive approach rather than a [00:40:47] reactive. Yeah. Thank you. [00:40:51] I just wanted to ask [00:40:55] about what sort of news Do we have [00:41:00] Regarding a potential cure, or next generation, medications, stuff like that. [00:41:10] So the pipeline, yeah, cure wise, you know, every if you sort of think every 10 years, there has been a huge change in HIV care. So when I started in the 80s, everybody just died. We didn't have any treatment. It was a life threatening illness, people just died. Now you're saying, you know, 35 years later, you're saying on a diagnosis, if it's early, then you've got a normal life expectancy, and assuming that in the next decade, will have something that either can turn it off completely, so you don't have to take the treatment, potentially a vaccine and and perhaps some way of clearing HIV out of sanctuary sites. But all of her job here JV is is is unusual in the fact that it doesn't replicate well. So you have different [00:42:00] viruses in the blood. So it's hard to get a vaccine. Because if you think of it as a lock and a key situation, the lock keeps changing all the time. So it's very difficult for scientists to come up with something that fits several different blocks when you're rather than one key to fit one lock. And that's where the crunch happens, but people are still working on it. And I'm looking at how you know how we can clear it out or switch it off. [00:42:27] might be time that I stand up. And on your behalf would like to thank our panelists, so if you could please give them [00:42:41] James Davies met Chuck Alex Anderson and Emmylou Liotta, thank you very much. [00:42:53] So I'm going to invite one of our young speakers so I will invite for Dr. [00:43:00] I'm so fed was born in Argentina, and he lived in Mexico and recently traveled around the world for is a LGBTI q plus a community, musician, human rights activists, an animal rights activist for identifies as a phenom femme [00:43:21] feminists over to my loft. Robert, [00:43:31] thank you so much to everyone for being here and caring. Thank you to everyone involved in this beautiful Memorial. I just want to share some thoughts with you and some memories. [00:43:46] So when I was around nine years old, someone told me that if I was gay, I would get [00:43:55] eight aids and die and it made me cry. [00:44:00] years later, I went to this sex education class. And they barely mentioned HIV as an STD. And I also remember a lot of people using HIV and AIDS as an insult. So naturally, I grew up [00:44:18] scared of it, even though I didn't really know what it was, or the difference between one and the other. [00:44:27] So years later, whenever I would go get tested, I would panic. And it was really difficult. And I would think [00:44:37] things like, I don't really want to know, I'd rather not know I killed myself if I get it. This is the worst thing that could happen to me and stuff like that. So it was very, very, very difficult. [00:44:53] When I was invited to come here tonight and speak [00:45:00] Here, which I feel very honored. Thank you so much. [00:45:05] I wanted to do a little research. So I went on the internet, of course. And I also had a conversation with some friends, just to see what have changed in the last years. And I was [00:45:21] I couldn't believe it when I talked with grown up people, professionals, artists, role models for kids, and [00:45:31] people who has traveled the world educated people, and they were telling me stuff like, I don't want to get tested. I don't know the difference between any kind of STDs. I have a risky behavior, but I'm afraid of it. And I don't want to know and I'd rather not know. And I was like, some people even would tell me like that. That's for gay people or promiscuous people. So [00:46:00] Were so wrong, and I couldn't believe it like it was like being on a time capsule. [00:46:08] Then I went on the internet, and I was reading the news. [00:46:12] And there are some countries like, Well, a lot of countries actually but for example, Mexico or Argentina, which now are struggling to provide antiretrovirals, and other medication related to STDs, forget about preps are. So there are people on the streets, telling the government that they need to deal with it. And whenever I would go to the comments, they were, again, all of these messages filled with hatred. [00:46:51] People wishing people to die and using HIV and AIDS as an insult again, [00:47:00] So I started wondering like, how do we really end HIV, if [00:47:09] one of the root [00:47:12] issues with it is still there and nothing has changed, [00:47:17] which is the lack of empathy, and the lack of tolerance and the lack of love in [00:47:25] the stigma. [00:47:28] It's, it's actually very, very sad. We need to fight [00:47:35] all of these. So I would like to encourage all of you to become activists and to recruit other people and just normalize conversations about STDs, because [00:47:48] it's still a taboo. It's still a taboo. There's a lot of people who's [00:47:53] just try to look the other way because he's uncomfortable talking about this. So [00:48:00] If we start normalizing this, we're going to be closer to a potential [00:48:10] heel. Because, as you said, darling, and it was beautiful love [00:48:16] can kill paid in, in fear, we need to, and fear and we need to end with the HIV closet and all kinds of STDs closet. [00:48:30] So first things first. [00:48:32] I'm an activist. I, [00:48:36] and I'm a musician. I've written songs about abuse, and [00:48:42] I've given speeches about abortion, LGBT IQ rights. [00:48:50] And I've never talked about HIV before. [00:48:56] So I guess this is my chance. [00:49:01] Yeah, I was diagnosed in 2014. And I was so depressed for three months, I thought my life was over. I thought I couldn't travel anymore when I thought I would never have a partner. [00:49:18] Truth is [00:49:20] I started traveling more than ever since that I started having a healthier lifestyle. And I also started having more meaningful relationships with others and with myself, because I became more aware [00:49:37] and more conscious of who I am and what I want. [00:49:44] Um, there are a lot of things that are changing in the world, and not in a good way. [00:49:51] There are some leaders in the world who have a speech, of hatred and faces so [00:50:00] We need to stand together. [00:50:03] And we need to, to, [00:50:07] to face it and fight it. [00:50:11] We need to do that. [00:50:13] Because we can't [00:50:16] keep going backwards or keep stuck. [00:50:20] So the time is now and it's in our hands. That's pretty much it. Thank you so much. [00:50:34] Okay, so now it's time to reflect, remember and celebrate the lives of our friends, partners and family members that are no longer with us. [00:50:46] As well as remembering those who still struggle with stigma and lack of support. [00:50:52] There is still so much work to be done to break down the barriers of stigma and dis conception and out today's world today. [00:51:00] Memorial has highlighted the struggle of other nations with human rights and access to HIV and AIDS support. members of the community will now present for candles representing us solidarity and support of all nations struggling with human rights, lack of HIV AIDS, support and medications. So I'd like to invite up Cal to present a candle presenting a human rights [00:51:35] next person I'd like to his Glaser to present the candle representing access to medication, just back of the room their life. So if you go around the back and come round forward, [00:51:49] the next person I'd like to invite a piece fail to present a candle represent in access to education [00:51:57] and I'd like to [00:52:00] fights the glamour parents to present a candle for basic human needs. [00:52:10] Okay lights into the candles represents our memories of those who have passed, as well as to raise awareness and hope for the future. We now invite you to place names on the memorial tree at the at the whole entrance, and then proceed to the memorial tables to light your candles. The memorial book is located at the entrance way for those who wants to write a message. [00:54:07] So we now invite anyone who would like to say anything. [00:54:19] Say something. [00:54:24] We've been bloody successful. [00:54:28] Look, I know that [00:54:31] there's a hell of a lot of work to be done. I know that it's to really hard. I know that there's still people hurting. I know that there's still a great deal of stigma. [00:54:47] But when we started out, [00:54:53] back it was a lot worse. [00:54:58] You know, [00:55:03] So I can list over 50 names of friends who died [00:55:12] in this generation, thank God. [00:55:15] There are [00:55:17] that numbers of New Zealand. [00:55:24] We have made immense strides [00:55:30] and that is your victory. [00:55:36] It's really really good work that is being done and has been done and may it continue. [00:55:51] I want to give three fold things. First of all, thanks for the Omega yrt coming by [00:56:00] died over 20 years ago. [00:56:03] He is more beautiful butterfly, my monarch, I still see him very often. [00:56:09] And I'll thank him for the memory and the joy that He has given me and many others. Then I'd like to thank you organizations that have helped him, the prostitutes who collected the AIDS Foundation. And we went together for the various times that he wanted to be tested and was too frightened to go by himself. These organizations are ongoing, and I like to thank you for the help that you have given him while he was still with us, even though it was a long time ago. And thirdly, I'd like to thank you for organizing the continuation of these evenings, which gives me the opportunity to [00:56:53] give a little tear of things and memory. Thank you [00:57:08] That's it for the evening. So I'd really like to thank you for coming to these, the candlelight memorials. And George, you do an amazing job Darling, you have to say so. [00:57:26] And also the rest of the team for helping out in the kitchen also organize it into our Ron. So Robert applause [00:57:39] Thanks. [00:57:45] Thanks, love to Father Father. And just to [00:57:49] total, the speeches that have been given tonight, but also to [00:57:57] acknowledge that and [00:58:00] With visited being visited for short time by those people that we want to remember. [00:58:07] But we also now say to those that we are remembering, go back to your place, and we'll call you again. And we'll join together again. But leave those people to those people and us to ourselves here.

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