As the Human Rights Monument at city hall lit up last night to open HIV/AIDS Awareness Week, Terry, an Ottawa resident, made a wish.
He said he hopes that people will pay more attention to the issues surrounding HIV-AIDS.
“I’m living with HIV and I want to be supportive where I can,”?said Terry, who asked that his last name not be used.
He was diagnosed with the disease in 1997.
Last night’s ceremony reinforced the point that the disease is not just a medical problem, but a human rights issue.
“We’re asking Canadians to shine a light on AIDS,” said Monique Doolittle-Romas, executive director of the Canadian AIDS Society.
“There are currently 68,000 Canadians living with HIV or AIDS, and really it’s a time to show our support and also to talk about the human rights that are fundamental to fighting HIV and AIDS.
“We’re still dealing with a lot of stigma and discrimination.”
Everyone, she said, knows someone who has either HIV or AIDS.
People can show support and solidarity for people living with HIV-AIDS by wearing red on World AIDS Day.