A red ribbon memorial candle display is placed at the legislature on Dec. 1 marking the 30th anniversary of World Aids Day and the 20th anniversary of National Aboriginal AIDS Awareness Week in Canada. (Keri Coles/News staff)

A red ribbon memorial candle display is placed at the legislature on Dec. 1 marking the 30th anniversary of World Aids Day and the 20th anniversary of National Aboriginal AIDS Awareness Week in Canada. (Keri Coles/News staff)

Circle of support fights stigma on World Aids Day

AIDS Vancouver Island urges testing with “Know your status” campaign

In the waning light of a crisp fall evening, friends and strangers stood in a circle holding hands – singing, talking and honouring a moment of silence for loved ones currently living with or lost to AIDS.

Beside them on the steps of the legislature, candles flickered in a red ribbon memorial display as they marked the 30th anniversary of World Aids Day and the 20th anniversary of National Aboriginal AIDS Awareness Week in Canada.

RELATED: 30th annual World AIDS Day ceremonies happening in Victoria

ALSO READ: AIDS Vancouver Island tackles need for prevention resources

As the group went around the circle sharing stories about how AIDS has touched their lives and those of loved ones, stigma was a heavy theme throughout.

Accounts were shared of how the stigma had killed, long before the disease had a chance to.

Through the “Know your status” campaign, AIDS Vancouver Island is urging people to get tested and encouraging others to speak openly about HIV/AIDS to avoid stigma and shame.

Research shows that in Canada 25 per cent of people living with HIV are unaware that they have the virus because they’ve never been tested.

Here in this province, the B.C. Centre for Disease Control has implemented an innovative pilot program that lets patients sign up and get tested for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections online.

For more information about this program go to www.getcheckedonline.com.


 

keri.coles@blackpress.ca

Follow us on Instagram
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Friends and strangers stood in a circle holding hands on the 30th anniversary of World Aids Day – singing, talking and honouring a moment of silence for loved ones currently living with or lost to AIDS. (Keri Coles/News staff)

Friends and strangers stood in a circle holding hands on the 30th anniversary of World Aids Day – singing, talking and honouring a moment of silence for loved ones currently living with or lost to AIDS. (Keri Coles/News staff)

Children approach a red ribbon memorial candle display placed at the legislature on Dec. 1 marking the 30th anniversary of World Aids Day and the 20th anniversary of National Aboriginal AIDS Awareness Week in Canada. (Keri Coles/News staff)

Children approach a red ribbon memorial candle display placed at the legislature on Dec. 1 marking the 30th anniversary of World Aids Day and the 20th anniversary of National Aboriginal AIDS Awareness Week in Canada. (Keri Coles/News staff)

Just Posted

BC Coroners Service is currently investigating a death at Canoe Cove Marina and Boatyard in North Saanich. (Black Press Media File)
Drowning death in North Saanich likely first in B.C. for 2021

Investigation into suspected drowning Monday night continues

Located at 9750 West Saanich Rd., this North Saanich mansion is on the market for $10.25 million. (Realtor.ca photo)
Located at 9750 West Saanich Rd., this North Saanich mansion is on the market for $8.65 million. (Realtor.ca photo)
The five most expensive homes for sale in Greater Victoria

A roundup of luxury estates currently on the market

The Greater Victoria School District and two retired teachers are named as defendants in a lawsuit alleging that a student was sexually abused in the early 2000s. (Pixabay photo)
Former Saanich student files sexual abuse lawsuit against school district, retired teachers

Lawsuit claims student was groomed, abused by retired teacher

(Black Press Media file photo)
Mechanical issues blamed for Saanich car fire

‘Nothing untoward’ suspected, no injuries reported, firefighter says

Sidney's Beacon Wharf
Pontoon company piqued at prospect of public-private partnership around Sidney wharf

Seagate approached to submit proposeal for public-private partnership

Toronto Public Health nurse Lalaine Agarin sets up for mass vaccination clinic in Toronto, Jan. 17, 2021. B.C. is set to to begin its large-scale immunization program for the general public starting in April. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
B.C.’s COVID-19 mass vaccinations expected to start in April

Clinics to immunize four million people by September

Terry Keogh, an RDN Transit driver, used his paramedic skills the morning of Jan. 22 after coming across an unconscious woman along his route in downtown Nanaimo. (RDN Transit photo)
Nanaimo transit driver stops his bus and helps get overdosing woman breathing again

Former EMT from Ireland performed CPR on a woman in downtown Nanaimo on Friday

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam speaks during a daily briefing in Ottawa. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld)
31 cases of COVID-19 variants detected in Canada: Health officials

Dr. Theresa Tam made announces 13 more variant COVID-19 cases in Canada

Daily COVID-19 cases reported to each B.C. health region, to Jan. 20, 2021. Island Health in blue, Northern Health green, Interior Health orange, Vancouver Coastal in red and Fraser Health in purple. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate stays stable with 508 cases Friday

Vaccine delivered to more than 110,000 high-risk people

Black Press file photo
Investigation at remote burned-out Vancouver Island cabin reveals human remains

Identity of victim not released, believed to be the owner of an SUV vehicle found parked nearby

Angela Waldick is the new team photographer for the Nanaimo NightOwls. (Nanaimo NightOwls photo)
Half-blind photographer will help new Island baseball team look picture-perfect

Nanaimo NightOwls say legally blind team photographer is making history

School District 57 headquarters in Prince George. (Mark Nielsen, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter)
Prince George school district settles with sexual abuse victim

Terms were part of an out-of-court settlement reached with Michael Bruneau, nearly four years after he filed a lawsuit

Surrey provincial court. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
New COVID-19 protocols set for provincial courthouses

The new rules were issued on Jan. 21, and took effect immediately

Dog owners, from left, Marlyn Briggs with Nayla, Marjory Sutherland with Effie and Mick, and Christina Godbolt with Conon walk their pets frequently at the Chemainus Ball Park but are growing increasingly concerned about drugs being found discarded in the area. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Puppy rushed to emergency 3 times after ingesting drugs in Chemainus public spaces

Dog owners walking in Chemainus parks urged to take caution

Most Read