World AIDS Day, taking place on Thursday, December 1, is a day people all over the world come together to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS, encourage progress in prevention, treatment, and care, and break down the stigma and discrimination still surrounding the condition.
AIDS West is hosting its annual World AIDS Day Memorial Concert in St Nicholas’ Collegiate Church, Galway on Thursday, December 1, at 7pm. Bel Canto and Cois Cladaigh will perform on the evening.
AIDS West is a West of Ireland-based charity working in the area of HIV and sexual health with offices located in Galway. The charity’s primary function is to provide support for people who are HIV positive, while also delivering extensive education programmes and information in relation to HIV and sexual health.
AIDS West manager, Joe McDonagh, said: “Promoting condom use and regular testing remain key to limiting the spread of HIV and STIs among those who are sexually active. Being diagnosed with HIV today means something very different than it did 20 or 30 years ago, as HIV is no longer a death sentence.
“However, the stigma associated with HIV can act as a barrier to people accessing testing services. To encourage them to get tested more regularly, AIDS West are to launch a free Rapid HIV testing service on Tuesday, November 29, from 5pm to 8pm at the Teach Solais LGBT & Resource Centre, Merchants Road, Galway.”
In 2015, there were 485 new diagnoses of HIV in Ireland, an increase of 30 per cent compared to 2014 figures. The latest figures on HIV infection rates for 2016 continue to indicate a rise in new diagnoses of HIV with an increase of more than 10 per cent on the corresponding period in 2015.
AIDS West staff and volunteers will be out on the streets of Galway for World AIDS Day encouraging people to wear a red ribbon to raise awareness around HIV.
This is an open invitation to the people of Galway and the West of Ireland to come to this free concert on Thursday, December 1, at 7pm and show their solidarity with those living with HIV, helping challenge the stigma and discrimination associated with HIV.