International AIDS Candlelight Memorial Day 2009 was observed yesterday with the slogan ‘Together we are the solution’.
On the occasion, National AIDS/STD Programme (NASP) organised a programme at the Biam auditorium in the city remembering people who died of AIDS in Bangladesh.
Speaking as the chief guest, Dr Hosne Ara Tahmin, additional director general of Directorate General of Health Services, said prevention is always better than cure and for that mass awareness is a must.
Children of the persons who died of AIDS are suffering immensely. The government will make an attempt to provide them with support so that they can continue their education, she said.
Dr Md Ishaque Khan, line director of NASP, said the social stigma about AIDS should be eliminated and AIDS-infected people should not be discriminated.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, AIDS has claimed more than 28 million lives around the world while about 42 millions are now living with HIV and AIDS worldwide.
In Bangladesh so far 165 people died of AIDS while 58 died in the last one year.
The Candlelight Memorial Day was first observed in 1983 in the USA. It is now being observed across the globe every year on the third Sunday of May. Lighting candles has become a way for the communities to take action by mourning publicly and by strengthening local and national commitments to fight the pandemic.
Bandhu Social Welfare Society presented a cultural function titled ‘Essence of Soul’ on the occasion while Ashar Alo Society held a documentary show on AIDS.
The programme was participated by family members who lost their near and dear ones at the hands of AIDS and different government and non-government organisations working with HIV awareness programmes. [Source: The Daily Star, 18 June 2009, Dhaka]