World AIDS Day

by | Dec 11, 2017

World AIDS Day (WAD) – is held on the 1st December each year and is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, show their support for people living with HIV and to commemorate people who have died.

Sahir House coordinate the Merseyside World AIDS Day planning group.  The groups aim is to raise the profile of World AIDS Day and National HIV Testing Week by bringing together local professionals and supporters to work together to provide a range of HIV related health promotion events and activities to challenge HIV stigma, reduce HIV discrimination and Increase the uptake of HIV testing.

What did we achieve….  A full report will be available in the new year however, here are some highlights.

We had a very successful twitter campaign #HIVChampions,  asking people to champion HIV testing by publically disclosing their HIV status.  We had local journalists, people living with HIV, local GP’s, nurses, Merseyside Police sergeants, college tutors, even the Bishop of Liverpool took a HIV test.  Bishop Paul Bayes took the quick finger-prick test to raise awareness of HIV and to encourage more people to take part in regular HIV testing.

UK AIDS Memorial Quilt

Thirty years since the outbreak of the HIV epidemic, the UK AIDS Memorial Quilt was on public display in Westminster Hall to commemorate the lives of those lost.  Sahir House is proud to be part of the coalition of charities that have worked to display this irreplaceable piece of international social history.

Celebration of Life

A music legend, rising country star, a vocal ensemble and ‘queer disco’ collective united for a two-day fundraising extravaganza for World AIDS Day as well as to celebrate the lives and ongoing legacies of people living with HIV.

Irish singer/songwriter Brian Kennedy, supported by country/blues newcomer Daisy Gill, performed at Liverpool Philharmonic Hall Music Room. Brian was joined on the evening by critically acclaimed vocalists, Sense of Sound who sang a collection of songs together.

Each World AIDS Day Sahir House always hold a vigil, this year St Brides Church hosted the event. The vigil reminds us of the journey the HIV community has travelled, from memorial quilts being made to remember those lost to HIV, to medication today massively reducing onward transmission.

Then…..One Night Stand!

A one-off World AIDS Day event at District in the Baltic Triangle courtesy of Sonic Yootha,  who said We welcome anybody as long as you’re respectful. Let’s dance, celebrate life and honour those souls we have lost.” And they sure did!

This year’s World AIDS Day campaign certainly did end as a Celebration of Life!