Starting on 31 March 2013 at the Chater Road Pedestrian Precinct, Central Hong Kong, the festival organised by St. John’s Cathedral HIV Education Centre, will educate the public about AIDS prevention, reduce stigma and discrimination. It will contribute to reaching the targets of HIV zero infections, zero discrimination and zero deaths.
A celebration ceremony of the festival will be held at 3pm. Guests of honour include: The Very Revd Canon Matthias Der (Dean, St. John’s Cathedral), Mr. Eugene Fong (District Governor Elect, The Rotary International District 3450 (Hong Kong, Maco & Mongolia)), Dr. Shu Bo Yee (Medical and Health Officer, Red Ribbon Centre, Department of Health), Joey (Volunteer of Hong Kong AIDS Foundation), Mr. Sam Aryadi (Vice Consul of The Consulate General of The Republic of Indonesia Hong Kong) and representatives of the ethnic minorities and volunteers.
In Hong Kong, according to the Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health, the cumulative total of HIV infections reached 5,783 by the fourth quarter of 2012. A total of 513 new cases were reported in 2012, compared with 438 reported cases in 2011. The high numbers of cases say that AIDS is still a major public health concern to Hong Kong.
The AIDS Festival 2013 is the 10th festival organized by the St. John’s Cathedral HIV Education Centre. It is a whole day outdoor event aiming to educate the public about AIDS prevention, to reduce stigma and discrimination, and to contribute to reach the targets of HIV zero infections, zero discrimination and zero deaths.
In early 2013, a slogan competition was called to promote AIDS acceptance and to reduce stigma. More than 60 applicants have so far been received. The judges are finalizing the result. Winners will be presented with souvenirs at the AIDS Festival 2013.
Last Sunday on 10 March, 2013, St. John’s Cathedral HIV Education Centre organized an AIDS Dialogue at the Li Hall. About 50 people from different communities (students from Hong Kong Institute of Education, The USA Consulate, The Sun Newspaper, Pink Alliance, The Equal Opportunities Commission, The Hong Kong AIDS Foundation, The Chinese University, members of Filipino Reflexology Therapists Association HK chapter, 5 members including Dean Matthias from St. John’s and a several public) were present. Four honoured guest speakers shared the latest AIDS pandemic, treatment, prevention and the law protecting people living with HIV/AIDS with the audience. Mr. Joy , a person living with HIV, and his cousin Sue shared from a patient and a family member’s perspective with the audience.
There will be a variety of performances and activities at the AIDS Festival, including: AIDS and health information exhibits, AIDS message sharing, variety shows, magic shows, henna, facial paint, drama, cultural presentations and Q & A sessions. More than 30 groups include university students, AIDS organizations, ethnic groups, Rotary Club and more than 200 volunteers will be participating. Free admission and everyone is welcome.
The festival is jointly sponsored and supported by:
- Hop Yuen (Holding) Ltd
- The Rotary Club of Queensway
- HKSKH Women’s League
- Sand Box Industries Limited
- Health Plus Magazine
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