In observance of the 33rd International AIDS Candlelight Memorial (IACM), the Philippines will host the world’s first “AIDS Hour” on Saturday, May 14 at the Manuel Quezon Memorial Shrine in Quezon City.
Filipinos are encouraged to switch off their lights and light a candle from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. as a show of support to the country’s fight against human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which causes the dreaded Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome or AIDS.
"The launch of the first ever AIDS Hour in the world is a concrete example of the Philippines doing our part in the global effort against HIV and AIDS," Health Secretary Janette Garin said.
Garin further added. "We need to raise awareness because many people living with HIV do not know what health services are available to them. Others are afraid to consult, or are socially stigmatized for being HIV-positive. We hope the AIDS Hour movement will spread not just in our country but globally."
This event is headed by the Department of Health (DOH) in cooperation with IACM and Project Red Ribbon Care Management Inc. Ico Rodulfo Johnson, president of Project Red Ribbon said that his foundation is planning to make AIDS Hour an annual event.
Participants at the venue and at home are also encouraged to take and upload photos of their own candle-lighting ceremonies on Facebook with the hashtag #AIDSHour2016 for a chance to win cash prizes.
The top three winners will each receive P30,000, P20,000 and P15,000 as prizes.