candlelight memorial HIV and AIDS poster in Lebanon SIDC

Candlelight 2021: In solidarity with people living with and impacted by HIV

Today, SIDC commemorates the International AIDS Candlelight Memorial, to raise awareness about HIV and remember those who have lost their lives to AIDS.

As part of its work, programs and projects, SIDC continues to report and document violations of the rights of people living with HIV. Most of the human rights violations were seen within the healthcare industry, family and friends, community, workplace, and governmental settings.

“I started to notice their reactions, how everyone was avoiding me. Some people ask my friend how do you sit and eat with her, aren’t you afraid of catching the disease? No, you can’t catch it” – (Woman, age 36)

“They all rejected me and I could feel their pity. No one ate at my house, and some of them won’t even speak with me” – (Woman, age 28)

“They are always tense and afraid. The doctor told me to stay away and keep a distance when I sit” – (Man, age 37)

SIDC has been supporting people living with HIV since 1994. We provide case management, counseling and mental health support.

Beyond the AIDS Candlelight Memorial

The International AIDS Candlelight Memorial is much more than just a memorial. The International AIDS Candlelight Memorial serves as a community mobilization campaign to raise social consciousness about HIV and AIDS. With 33 million people living with HIV today, the International AIDS Candlelight Memorial serves as an important intervention for global solidarity, breaking down barriers of stigma and discrimination, and giving hope to new generations.

This Memorial, coordinated by the Global Network of People living with HIV is one of the world’s oldest and largest grassroots mobilization campaigns for HIV awareness in the world. Started in 1983, the International AIDS Candlelight Memorial takes place every third Sunday in May and is led by a coalition of some 1,200 community organizations in 115 countries.

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