IN PICTURES: World Aids Day 2023 vigil held in Birmingham
A vigil was held in Birmingham this evening to mark World Aids Day, remembering the lives lost to HIV and AIDS, and celebrating the lives of all who have been impacted by the virus.
Community members gathered for music, speeches and reflection at The Ribbons memorial in Hurst Street in Southside at 6.30pm.
Artist Garry Jones, who co-designed the ‘Ribbons’ Birmingham HIV and AIDS memorial sculpture, led the moving vigil. Co-creator of the artwork, sculptor Luke Perry was also invited to contribute his reflections.
The gathering was attended by West Midlands mayor Andy Street and sexual health specialist Dr. Steve Taylor, who successfully lobbied the government for the roll out of HIV opt-out testing in Birmingham as part of 46 new areas with high prevalence.
Following speeches from individuals impacted by HIV, friends of those lost to AIDS, medical professionals and community advocates; lanterns were held aloft during a minute’s silence; before flowers and candles were placed on the memorial’s plinth.