16 May 2011
The rally saw the participation of a large number of youth holding placards, and messages to avoid discrimination of HIV infected persons, and to awareness on HIV, and AIDS. Participants also raised various slogans. More than 700 people participated in the vigil, comprising around 26 NGOs.
International AIDS Candlelight Memorial was observed with thousands of people from over 75 countries lighting a candle on Sunday, in remembrance of victims of AIDS, and those who are still battling HIV. The vigil which began at Sassoon Hospital, and Golibar Maidan simultaneously
gathered at MG Road, where singer Vinod Peter belted out hits from his debut album Vedamiya. Besides this, band Rudraksh, and DISHA students also performed at the event.
"We also had a few 'Positive' speakers, who addressed the crowd. They shared their experiences of being detected with HIV, and the stigma, and loneliness they had to face, and how they have finally come out of it," said Team leader of Disha, Avinash Chakranarayan.
Earlier, a signature campaign was held on Sunday morning at various public places to spread awareness. On May 17, a voluntary HIV testing camp will be held. Besides this, other campaigns, and street plays on the subject will be held through the week ahead. "We will also be having a stigma tunnel on display, which will symbolise the sigma that an HIV patient faces right from the hospital, to his family, the community and finally isolation."