The International AIDS Candlelight Memorial, held on the third Sunday of May every year, is not only an opportunity to remember the people we have lost but also to honour those who dedicated their lives to helping people living with and affected by HIV and continue to mobilise our communities in solidarity. People living with HIV started the International AIDS Candlelight Memorial in 1983 and since then there have been thousands of events organized across the world by community-based organisations, from motorbike rallies by women living with HIV to uplifting ceremonies in places of worship and workplaces. Such events have helped raise awareness about HIV and more importantly have helped break down stigma within our communities.
The International AIDS Candlelight Memorial is also a campaign to mobilise communities and raise social consciousness about HIV and AIDS. With almost 38 million people living with HIV today, the International AIDS Candlelight Memorial serves as an important platform for global solidarity, breaking down barriers of stigma and discrimination, and giving hope to new generations.