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City To Mark World AIDS Day

A city centre procession will commemorate the awareness raising day

Written by . Published on November 30th 2012.

City To Mark World AIDS Day

THE first city centre procession to mark World AIDS Day  takes place each year on 1 December to help raise awareness of the illness.

Participants in the walk will carry candles and lanterns in order to “Be The Light” and encourage people to get tested so they know their HIV status.

A huge red ribbon, the international symbol of solidarity for those living with HIV, has been erected on Manchester Town Hall and its clock face will be turned red

The procession will begin at Sackville Park, by the Beacon of Hope - the national AIDS memorial - then wind its way through the Gay Village before arriving back at Sackville Park for a candlelit vigil to remember those who have been lost to the virus.

Town Hall RibbonTown Hall RibbonCouncillor Kevin Peel, Manchester City Council's lead member for gay men's issues, said:  "Treatment has improved so much in recent years to the extent that if you’re diagnosed early you can expect to live just as long as someone who is HIV negative. But the key thing is to find out your status - and getting tested has never been easier. 

"While HIV is particularly prevalent in some communities in Manchester, the virus does not discriminate so if you have had unprotected sex then please get tested.

"It’s easy and painless. You can do it at your local hospital, at a number of walk-in clinics across the city or at your GP’s surgery. You can even have a free testing kit sent to you in the post."

World AIDS Day marks the culmination of National HIV Testing Week, which has been encouraging people, particularly from the African and male gay and bisexual communities where HIV prevalence is highest, to get tested.

For example it is estimated that one in four Africans in the UK who are living with HIV are undiagnosed, and a third of gay and bisexual men have never been tested.

Manchester has the largest number of people accessing HIV treatment in the country outside London, and according the Health Protection Agency there has been a sharp rise in the number of people being diagnosed in recent years.

A huge red ribbon, the international symbol of solidarity for those living with HIV, has been erected on Manchester Town Hall and its clock face will be turned red on 1 December.

A special stall will also be set up at the Manchester Christmas Markets at Exchange Square on Saturday (1 December) to provide a range of information and advice.

Follow Manchester World AIDS Day Partnership on Facebook and Twitter.

The procession and vigil has been organised by the Manchester World AIDS Day partnership which comprises: Manchester City Council, the NHS, George House Trust, Brook Manchester, BHA, Fresh and The Lesbian & Gay Foundation. 

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Duke FameDecember 2nd 2012.

At last something I can agree with Kev Peel about.

Does anyone have a real solution to discourage 'gift giving' which is not only dangerous, its costing the NHS £bn's

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