A red ribbon memorial candle display is placed at the legislature on Dec. 1 marking the 30th anniversary of World Aids Day and the 20th anniversary of National Aboriginal AIDS Awareness Week in Canada. (Keri Coles/News staff)

Circle of support fights stigma on World Aids Day

AIDS Vancouver Island urges testing with “Know your status” campaign

In the waning light of a crisp fall evening, friends and strangers stood in a circle holding hands – singing, talking and honouring a moment of silence for loved ones currently living with or lost to AIDS.

Beside them on the steps of the legislature, candles flickered in a red ribbon memorial display as they marked the 30th anniversary of World Aids Day and the 20th anniversary of National Aboriginal AIDS Awareness Week in Canada.

RELATED: 30th annual World AIDS Day ceremonies happening in Victoria

ALSO READ: AIDS Vancouver Island tackles need for prevention resources

As the group went around the circle sharing stories about how AIDS has touched their lives and those of loved ones, stigma was a heavy theme throughout.

Accounts were shared of how the stigma had killed, long before the disease had a chance to.

Through the “Know your status” campaign, AIDS Vancouver Island is urging people to get tested and encouraging others to speak openly about HIV/AIDS to avoid stigma and shame.

Research shows that in Canada 25 per cent of people living with HIV are unaware that they have the virus because they’ve never been tested.

Here in this province, the B.C. Centre for Disease Control has implemented an innovative pilot program that lets patients sign up and get tested for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections online.

For more information about this program go to www.getcheckedonline.com.


 

keri.coles@blackpress.ca

Follow us on Instagram
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

 

Friends and strangers stood in a circle holding hands on the 30th anniversary of World Aids Day – singing, talking and honouring a moment of silence for loved ones currently living with or lost to AIDS. (Keri Coles/News staff)

Children approach a red ribbon memorial candle display placed at the legislature on Dec. 1 marking the 30th anniversary of World Aids Day and the 20th anniversary of National Aboriginal AIDS Awareness Week in Canada. (Keri Coles/News staff)

Just Posted

Candidate forum planned for Sooke

Sooke Region Chamber of Commerce hosts event Oct. 11

Cloudy, chance of showers ahead for Wednesday

Plus a look ahead at your weekend

Defense says burden of proof not met in double murder case against Oak Bay father

Closing statements begin in trial for man accused of killing daughters Christmas 2017

UPDATED: Hundreds gather to reflect and remember UVic students killed in bus crash

Campus community invited to reflect, support one another

Some 5,000 residents on the Saanich Peninsula have signed up for alert system

Sidney hosts Peninsula Emergency Preparedness Exhibition Friday

‘It’s almost surreal’: B.C. fire chief, sidekick Sammy recap rescue mission in Bahamas

Chief Larry Watkinson and Sam the disaster dog spent 8 days assisting a search and rescue team

POLL: Should the province step in to upgrade the road to Bamfield?

The death of two University of Victoria students on a bus bound… Continue reading

‘Time to take action:’ Children advocates call for national youth suicide strategy

Council wants Ottawa to make reporting of suicides and attempted suicides mandatory for data collection

Canadian inflation decelerates to 1.9% as gas prices weaken

August was the sixth straight month that price growth was 1.9 per cent or higher

Man who crushed Nanaimo RCMP cars with stolen truck gets more jail time

Majore Jackson, 34, sentenced to two more years in jail in provincial court in Nanaimo

B.C. dog breeder banned again after 46 dogs seized

The SPCA seized the animals from Terry Baker, 66, in February 2018

Surrey mom allegedly paid $400,000 for son in U.S. college bribery scam

Xiaoning Sui, 48, was arrested in Spain on Monday night

Three dogs found shot dead in Prince George ditch

The three adult dogs appeared to be well cared for before being found with gunshot wounds, BC SPCA says

B.C. party bus company to be monitored after 40 intoxicated teens found onboard

Police received tip teens and young adults were drinking on party buses and limousines in Surrey

Most Read