World AIDS Day vigil on 1 December goes online

Communities in Brighton & Hove are marking World AIDS Day on Tuesday 1 December with an online vigil.

In previous years there has been a public vigil at the AIDS Memorial in the New Steine Gardens to remember those we have lost. The move online is in response to Covid-19 restrictions. 

Throughout the day videos will be shared from leaders and representatives from across the city. And from 6pm there will be a reading of the names of those we have lost. 

Join the vigil from the safety of your own home.

You can also view it on Latest TV (Freeview – channel 7 or Virgin Media – channel 159).

Brighton & Hove City Council leader Councillor Phélim Mac Cafferty will be among those participating. He said: “World AIDS Day is a chance for us to come together in the fight against HIV, show support for people living with HIV, and commemorate those who have died from an AIDS-related illness.

“I welcome the fact that new HIV diagnoses in gay and bisexual men are at their lowest in 20 years and that new diagnoses in the city continue to fall. However, HIV has not gone away. 

“Brighton & Hove has the highest rate of HIV outside of London and more than 100,000 people are living with it in the UK. So there’s still a vital need for all of us to increase awareness, improve education and fight the scourge of stigma that is still faced by many.

“Because of Covid-19 we need to ensure those living with HIV are living well. As well as important work of local NHS and council services, there are many wonderful organisations offering services such as peer support, and access to healthy food such as Lunch Positive and Sussex Beacon

“This World Aids Day central government needs to increase and ring-fence the financial support for HIV and sexual health services so this work can deepen.

“Unfortunately, we can’t stand together in person this year as we mourn those who have died while we fight for the living. But please join us online and show your support.”

The Terrence Higgins Trust can give you support, advice and information about sexual health and HIV. 

They offer local HIV and STI testing, counselling, advice on PrEP / PEP and information if you’ve just found out you’re HIV positive. 

There are many other ways you can get an HIV test in the city. Use the NHS.UK search for local HIV testing services. 

See here for more information about HIV and sexual health services.