About Candlelight Memorial

The International AIDS Candlelight Memorial, coordinated by the Global Network of People living with HIV is one of the world’s oldest and largest grassroots mobilization campaigns for HIV awareness in the world. Started in 1983, the International AIDS Candlelight Memorial takes place every third Sunday in May and is led by a coalition of some 1,200 community organizations in 115 countries.

The International AIDS Candlelight Memorial is much more than just a memorial. The International AIDS Candlelight Memorial serves as a community mobilization campaign to raise social consciousness about HIV and AIDS. With 33 million people living with HIV today, the International AIDS Candlelight Memorial serves as an important intervention for global solidarity, breaking down barriers of stigma and discrimination, and giving hope to new generations.

Mobilization & Advocacy Campaign

For many organizers community mobilization for the International AIDS Candlelight Memorial begins on World AIDS Day, 1 December, and ends with the international memorial in May. Organizations register online on the International AIDS Candlelight Memorial website to become official "coordinating organizations."

Once registered, the Global Network of People living with HIV informs and guides coordinating organizations in the planning of their memorial activities. The Global Network of People living with HIV provides posters, a theme and some directions in the kind of policy change that is called for through the theme. These demands for policy and social change are based on the Candlelight Advocacy Platform.

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