The 2023 International AIDS Candlelight Memorial highlights the Stigma and Self-Stigma experienced by people living with HIV. The theme is: “Spread Love and Solidarity to Build Stronger Communities” – A day and opportunity to go INWARD, LISTEN, LEARN, and ACT!
The theme “Spread Love and Solidarity to Build Stronger Communities” highlights the significant challenges that people living with HIV face due to persistent stigma and discrimination leading to feelings of shame, self-doubt, and isolation, preventing individuals from seeking the care and support they need. By addressing both stigma and self-stigma, we can help stop the perpetual negative language around HIV transmission, burst myths and misinformation about life with HIV, and end HIV stigma and discrimination that have long been a barrier to effective HIV prevention and treatment.
We take this day to remind ourselves and our communities that we matter, that we are more than HIV, that we can love ourselves and be loved, we can go after our dreams, and that in solidarity we can build a stronger community that cares for one another.
The International AIDS Candlelight Memorial Day commemoration is an opportunity to honor those who have lost their lives to the pandemic and to come together as a community to show our support for people living with HIV and recommit to working together towards ending the HIV epidemic.
The World We Want to Live In A world free of stigma is a world where every single person is valued, respected, appreciated, and thriving, where every single person believes they are loved, accepted, included in society, and feel worthy. This is our goal for our community of all people living with HIV.
It is time to change the narrative. We want to speak boldly of self-stigma. The pain it causes us, the increasing need for mental health services, and the incredible power of self-worth, self-love, and solidarity impact how we access and use treatment and achieve quality of life.
Visit the International AIDS Candlelight Memorial page for more on this year’s activities.