Sinn Féin Councillor Colly Kelly has called on people in Derry to wear a red ribbon to mark World AIDS Day tomorrow (Monday).
Speaking to the Sunday Journal yesterday evening, Colr. Kelly said World AIDS Day provided local people with the opportunity to show solidarity with AIDS sufferers throughout the world.
“Monday December 1 is World AIDS Day, a day in which the world comes out in solidarity and support for those who are living with HIV and AIDS,” he said.
“The Red Ribbon is the international symbol of HIV/AIDS awareness and is used to promote awareness and support of a worthy cause and to remind others of the need for their continued support and commitment.”
Colr. Kelly went on to say that the only way to reduce the number of people becoming infected with AIDS was through being open and honest about it.
“We must constantly be proactive in supporting prevention awareness programmes for HIV in Ireland, these programmes must be sustained and given the proper funding to help reduce the levels of new infections and put in place the support services that are needed for caring for those suffering with HIV,” he said.
World AIDS Day is held on December 1 each year and is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, show their support for people living with HIV and to commemorate people who have died.
World AIDS Day was the first ever global health day and the first one was held in 1988.
Globally an estimated 34 million people have HIV. More than 35 million people have died from the virus, making it one of the most destructive pandemics in history.