Participate in AIDS Candlelight Memorial 2020 | Western Cape Government


Participate in AIDS Candlelight Memorial 2020

18 May 2020

The Western Cape Government Health (WCGH) is encouraging members of the public to light a candle or use mobile phone flashlight in remembrance of the many lives lost to AIDS. Due to Covid-19, in-person Candlelight Memorial events will not be held, but individually each person can still pledge their support on social media.

According to the Global Network of People living with HIV/AIDS, almost 38 million people are living with HIV today. The International AIDS Candlelight Memorial (17 May) serves as an important intervention for global solidarity, breaking down barriers of stigma and discrimination, and giving hope to new generations.

With the national lockdown and public transport challenges, some HIV patients in the Western Cape may have found it challenging getting tested and receiving medication. The Department has been dispensing HIV patients 2-months’ worth of antiretroviral drugs (ARVs) so that patients do not have to go out often. In addition, the clinician at each facility which a patient attend has been conducting weekly telephone follow-ups regarding each patient’s wellbeing during the pandemic. Any person with signs and symptoms of HIV is clinically evaluated and put on treatment despite testing for HIV having dropped drastically due to fears of contracting Covid-19. South Africa has among the largest HIV pandemic worldwide and patients who are not on treatment and have a low immune system may be at risk for Covid-19. It is critical for patients with comorbidities and who are medication to continue taking it.

The International AIDS Candlelight Memorial reminds us that HIV has not gone away and that collectively, there is the need to increase awareness, fight prejudice and improve education. We call on everyone to recognise that HIV and AIDS are chronic diseases, and that people living with HIV can enjoy full and happy lives. We each have a responsibility to treat those who are struggling with an HIV-positive diagnosis with compassion, those struggling with AIDS with care, and ourselves and our sexual partners with respect.

How to get involved in this year’s virtual commemoration.

Media Enquiries: 

Media enquiries
Byron la Hoe
WCGH Communications
Cell: 072 368 0596