In the descending light of a fresh autumn evening, friends and strangers stood in a circle holding hands – singing, speaking, and honoring a moment of silence for loved ones who are currently living or lost from AIDS. In addition to them, the steps of the legislature, the candles trembled in a memorial display on a red tape.
They were there on December 1 to mark the 30th anniversary of World Aids Day and the 20th anniversary of the National Awareness Week for Aboriginal Canadians in Canada.
While the group went through the circle exchanging stories about how AIDS touched their lives or the lives of their loved ones, the stigma was a difficult topic all year long. There were shared accounts about how the stigma killed him, long before the disease had a chance.
Through the "Meet Your Status" campaign, the Vancouver Island urges people to test themselves and people openly talk about HIV / AIDS to avoid stigma and embarrassment.
Studies show that in Canada, 25 percent of people living with HIV are unaware of the virus because they have never been tested.
The 30th anniversary of the World AIDS Day and the 20th anniversary of the National Awareness Consciousness Week in Canada. Friends and family gather in honor of those who are lost or face the disease and stigma, which can be just as destructive as the disease. #AIDS # WorldAIDSDay2018 @VictoriaNews pic.twitter.com/iZZJhzE3Se
– Keri Koles (@KeriColesPhotog) December 2, 2018
In British Columbia, BC The Center for Disease Control has implemented an innovative pilot program that allows patients to register and test for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections on the Internet. For more information about this program go to www.getcheckedonline.com.