MANILA, PHILIPPINES – The Department of Health (DOH) together with the Global Network of People Living with HIV (GNP) lead the observance of the 32nd International AIDS Candlelight Memorial at the Liwasang Aurora, Quezon City Memorial Circle.
This event commemorates those who have died from HIV and AIDS by collectively unveiling the AIDS Memorial Quilt which is individually rendered by loved ones, family, and friends by lighting a candle signifying hope for those let behind.
Since 1984, there were a total of 1,149 deaths recorded in the AIDS registry. As of February 2015, a total of 23,709 diagnosed cases of HIV in the Philippines, wherein 19,285 or eighty one percent (81%) were reported in the last five years from January 2010 to February 2015. The age group with the biggest proportion of cases has become younger from 30-39 years in 2000 to 2004, down to 25-29 years between the years of 2005 to 2009 and has gone lower at 20-24 years from 2010-2015.
The government joins the rest of the world in this commemoration and calls for a commitment towards a sustainable AIDS response in the future by ensuring funds for Universal Health Care that mainstream HIV protection, treatment, care and support, by upholding the human rights and dignity to all individuals and by fully and meaningfully engaging people living with HIV in every step of the process. These collective actions will light up the path of tomorrow’s response to HIV.
The Department of Health together with the Department of the Interior and Local Government has responded by advocating for the “National HIV Testing Week” from 11 to 15 May 2015 preceding the AIDS Candlelight Memorial. Everyone is encouraged to undergo FREE CONFIDENTIAL HIV TESTING to their nearest Social Hygiene Clinic or by dialing 24/7 hotline numbers: (02) 2563472, 0915-198-6978, 0922-635-0270, 0936-183-8963 and 0919-638-5401 and reffered to DOH testing centers.
The 32nd international AIDS Candlelight Memorial is organized by the Philippine National AIDS Council (PNAC) together with Pinoy Plus Association, the pioneer organization of people living with the HIV and AIDS in the Philippines in collaboration with the Quezon City Government. The Metro Manila Development Authority, the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines and other government and civil society organizations.
– DOH Philippines