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Painting the town red for World Aids Day

Thursday, 1 December 2016

South Australians are encouraged to participate on World AIDS Day today as the Rundle Lantern is illuminated red and will display public messages of support for ending HIV.

Jill Davidson, Chief Executive Officer of SHine SA said the prominence of the Rundle Lantern is a great position to show support for World AIDS Day.

“In South Australia, more than 1,100 people are living with HIV,” Ms Davidson said.

“This year, World AIDS Day is focussed on reducing HIV-related stigma and discrimination and is an opportunity for the whole community to support people living with the infection.

“The Rundle Lantern, on the corner of Rundle Street and Pulteney Street, is one of the best places to show that support.

“The more people and organisations that tweet @rundlelantern #endingHIV, the more frequently the messages will appear on the building.”

Other iconic landmarks around the city to be illuminated red include the Adelaide Town Hall, Adelaide Oval and footbridge, the Victoria Square Fountain, the Museum, State Library and the Art Gallery.

SHine SA partners with the Victoria AIDS Council (VAC) to deliver the South Australian Mobilisation + Empowerment for Sexual Health (SAMESH) HIV prevention program.

Simon Ruth from the VAC said HIV-related stigma and discrimination is a major barrier in HIV prevention, treatment care and support.

“The stigma surrounding HIV must be addressed if we are to achieve Australia’s goal of virtually eliminating HIV transmission by 2020,” Mr Ruth said.

“Community support is integral for reducing stigma so we are encouraging people to take photos of the Adelaide icons illuminated red and post them on Facebook with the tags @SAMESH #endingHIV #WorldAIDSDay.”

SA Health’s Chief Medical Officer Professor Paddy Phillips said treatment advancements mean deaths from AIDS related illnesses and other related complications are rare.

“HIV treatments are available to all Australians and while there is no cure, many people with HIV now live longer, healthier lives,” Professor Phillips said.

“World AIDS Day is a great opportunity for South Australians to show their support for those living with HIV, as well as for those people who have died of AIDS related illnesses.”

Volunteers will be distributing red ribbons at the Glenelg tram stop, Victoria Square, Adelaide Railway Station as well as in Rundle Mall for people to wear in show of their support.

SAMESH, SHine SA, Relationships Australia South Australia and the Aboriginal Health Council of SA will also be holding a free community barbeque in the south-west corner of Hindmarsh Square from 11am.

For more information about World AIDS Day, please visit the World AIDS Day Australia website.

For information about HIV and AIDS, see: Human immunodeficiency virus infection (HIV and AIDS) - including symptoms, treatment and prevention.

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