City lights up red to mark World AIDS Day

Liverpool is turning red to mark this year’s World AIDS Day.

The city will be illuminating the following buildings on Sunday 1 December: Cunard Building, Liverpool Town Hall, Central Library, St George’s Hall, Liverpool University Active Learning Lab, St Brides Church, Liverpool Community College, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, Liverpool Football Club, M&S Bank Arena, Liverpool One, World Museum and Merseyside Police Headquarters.

In addition, Cunard Building is to host this year’s World AIDS Day Vigil, with doors opening at 2:30pm for the event. There will be a selection of UK AIDS memorial quilts exhibited, along with artwork created by members of Sahir House, which supports people with HIV and AIDS. Information stalls from local health services will be available, as well as hot drinks.

The vigil will commence at 3.30pm with special guest speakers, a short film and songs from a local community choir.

The event will end at 4.30pm with the remembrance list being accompanied by talented violinist Peter Morgan.

Last year, Liverpool joined the Fast-Track Cities network in committing to eradicate AIDS as a public health threat by 2030 by promoting early HIV diagnosis.

Cabinet member for adult social care and health, Councillor Paul Brant, said: “We are proud and pleased to be hosting this year’s vigil at the Cunard Building.

“The drugs that are available to treat HIV mean that people with the virus can now lead long and healthy lives, but we need more people to be diagnosed early so we can get them treated.

“We also need to end the stigma attached with HIV and testing and make sure people are not worried about taking a test. It is a virus that can affect anyone regardless of their gender or sexuality and the important thing is to make sure they practice safe sex. People should not be embarrassed to ask for a test.”

Testing is available locally through sexual health services and GPs. For further details visit www.sexualhealthliverpool.co.uk.

In addition, free postal kits for home testing are available for those at higher-risk of HIV at www.test.hiv.

More information about Fast track Cities is available at www.fast-trackcities.org.