CNY prepares for AIDS Candlelight Memorial


People are often surprised to learn that nearly 4,000 persons have been diagnosed with AIDS in the 14-county Central New York region since cases were first reported in 1982. The most recent numbers released by the New York State AIDS Institute reveal approximately 2,000 persons living with AIDS and 1,300 persons living with HIV in the region.

The Atrium at City Hall Commons, East Washington Street, Syracuse will be the site of the Central New York HIV Care Network's annual observance of the International AIDS Candlelight Memorial on Sunday, May 17, from 4 to 5 p.m.

The Network joins with 3,000 communities in 85 countries to mark the 27th observance of the Candlelight Memorial. The public is invited to attend the program to express support -- and to learn more about the impact of HIV/AIDS if they are not yet aware of the public health crisis that is HIV/AIDS. The program will include musical offerings, reflections on the changing nature of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, and time for silent reflection. HIV/AIDS service providers will display information about their programs and volunteer opportunities and be available to answer questions.

As the AIDS epidemic edges toward the end of its third decade, approximately 56,000 new cases of HIV and AIDS are diagnosed each year in the U.S. -- even though infection is completely preventable when appropriate measures are followed. It is more important than ever to educate the public about risks for transmitting the virus, about current medical treatment (still no cure in sight), and about the need for treatment and support for increasing numbers of survivors living with HIV or AIDS. As medical treatment in the U.S. has largely eliminated the horrifying images of AIDS patients at death's door, many people remain unaware of the continuing impact of the epidemic.

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