CORNER BROOK — A mini-conference focused on how stigma around HIV is leading to violence and discrimination against those who have been living with the virus, particularly in rural areas, will take place in Corner Brook on Friday.
The approved hub for the XIX International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2012) in honour of World AIDS Day, will take place at Grenfell Campus, Memorial University of Newfoundland in the fine arts building.
Julie Crouse, co-ordinator of the ACNL’s Safe Works Access Program, said this the first time the committee has hosted an event of this magnitude in western Newfoundland. She said while the focus is often on helping people decrease their risk of becoming HIV positive, the committee also wants to discuss how our communities can and should support those living with HIV, rather than discriminate against them.
The committee has invited health professionals, non-governmental organizations and concerned community members to participate in the discussions.
The daylong event will feature recorded sessions from the international conference, as well as direct voices from those living with HIV in Newfoundland. A moderated discussion to examine how the session content can strengthen local HIV/AIDS response will follow.
Following the conference the AIDS Committee of Western Newfoundland will hold a candlelight vigil to mark World AIDS Day at 4:30 p.m. in the atrium of the fine arts building.
World AIDS Day is celebrated on Dec. 1.