This year AIDS Candlelight Memorial was organized on May 18 with the participation of Advocacy and Research Group on AIDS, National Center for AIDS Prevention and a number of local NGOs. During the ceremony participants conducted a candlelight ceremony and quilt (a blanket sewn out of square pieces; each of the pieces symbolizes the life of a person who died of AIDS).
As a sign of counteraction to AIDS and joining the struggle against stigma and discrimination, passers-by made a big Red Ribbon by combining little ribbons. The passers-by received lockets in the from of Red Ribbon which is considered the symbol of struggle against AIDS.
The photos of the event are available here.
“The need to implement AIDS Candlelight Memorial events are related with those cases of death. Those death cases are absurd because there is a method of treating AIDS which allows people to live as long as a person would live without AIDS.” – Hovhannes Madoyan, Coordinator of Advocacy and Research Group on AIDS
According to the data of National Center for AIDS Prevention, 1730 cases of HIV have been recorded in Armenia by April 30. This number has a tendency to grow. 238 of these cases have been recorded in 2013. This is the largest number in comparison with all the previous years.
In the Republic of Armenia the main modes of HIV transmission are through heterosexual practices (61%) and injecting drug use (30%). 54% of the HIV-infected individuals belong to the age group of 25-39 at the moment of the HIV diagnosis receipt.
From the beginning of the epidemic 369 death cases have been registered. There were 65 women and 7 children among those who died.