Minute silence on Peace bridge to mark World Aids Day

World Aids Day takes place on December 1st.
World Aids Day takes place on December 1st.

A single balloon launch and Minute Silence will take place on Derry’s Peace Bridge this afternoon to mark World Aids Day.

The event will get under way at 12pm, and comes after the Rainbow Project in Derry were launched a new campaign to combat the spread on HIV.

‘Four Steps to Combat HIV’ will also aim to tackle the stigma associated with having HIV, as communities across the world mark World Aids Day today (December 1).

Other events taking place later today include a seminar at Altnagelvin Hospital entitled ‘Don’t Die of Ignorance’.

The Rainbow Project will deliver the seminar on HIV, mental health and stigma before an audience of health professionals including nursing and medical staff.

They will detail how to support people living with HIV in clinical and acute settings, with a focus on mental health.

Getting tested and knowing your status is one of our four steps to challenge HIV and its stigma this year.

John O’Doherty

Tonight meanwhile will see the Nerve Centre host a screening of ‘Unfolding the Aids Quilt: Screening Of The last One’, hosted by the Rainbow Project.

The screening takes place from 6.30pm to 8.30pm and is open to all.

The Last One recalls the history of the HIV epidemic in America and follows the quilt on tour, visiting a variety of communities and people.

Through the stories of those affected by HIV this documentary/ film explores issues fuelling HIV infections among young people today.

The film will be shown and introduced by a guest speaker followed by a brief Q & A and the opportunity to share your thoughts and stories.

The Rainbow Project is the largest support and advocacy organisation for lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or transgender people (LGB&T) and their families in the north.

Speaking on the launch of their new campaign, Director of The Rainbow Project John O’Doherty said: “We are very happy to launch our World AIDS Day campaign for 2015. We want to encourage as many men who have sex with men (MSM) to get tested and know their status as well as challenging the stigma against people living with HIV which is still pervasive in our society.

“Knowing your status is only 10 minutes away when you access a HIV test through The Rainbow Project and it’s in a safe, sex positive and non-judgemental environment where you can access the best sexual health information for men who have sex with men.

“Getting tested and knowing your status is one of our four steps to challenge HIV and its stigma this year.

“We hope that people across Northern Ireland will engage with our campaign and help us empower people to know their status and to be confident in challenging the stigma associated with people living with HIV.”