International AIDS Memorial Day on May 20
The 29th International AIDS Memorial Day (IAMD) falls on May 20 and once again the Community AIDS Service Penang (CASP) is organizing activities to raise public awareness on the issue of HIV/AIDS within the community.
There will be two events, on May 12 and May 20.
On May 12 is the HIV/AIDS awareness program, which will be held at the Polo Ground, from 6.00pm to 8.30pm.
An aerobic demonstration, with participants joining in, will kick off this event. It will then be followed with a walkathon around the field and will reach the climax of the event with the formation of ‘Human Red Ribbon’.
The special guest for this event is Dato Keramat state assembly person Jagdeep Singh Deo.
Those who would like to participate will have to pay RM5. Each participant will be given a LED torch light, visor cap, metal red ribbon and a goodie-bag which consists of finger food and soft drinks.
The annual charity dinner will be held at Bayview Beach Resort, Batu Ferringhi, Penang on May 20 and Jagdeep will be the guest of honour.
The event will begin with inter-religious prayer for those who succumbed to AIDS and followed by lighting of candles and buffet dinner with entertainment and lucky draws.
To register for these two events, please call CASP at 04-5398510
CAPS chairperson, P.R. Selvarajan, in a press statement, said that the key to stop AIDS is through education.
“The problem lies in our own selves – we have chosen not to talk about HIV/AIDS as if it is something bad. We go on living like HIV/AIDS is not a problem in our country, it is a problem in countries like Africa, Thailand etc. Malaysians live in a state of denial until it hits one of own loved ones and we go berserk with rage, why me?” he said.
He stressed that education and information is the only way to keep the infection at bay and making an effort to want to know is the first step in the right direction.
However, he was disappointed that often CASP faces an uphill battle when it comes to providing education sessions on HIV/AIDS, as not many people are interested.
“Very often we hear infected persons saying “if only I had known, I would have taken precaution. So education and information is the key to prevention, care and support.”