Christian Aid Supporters Gather Ahead of World AIDS Day

As World Aids Day approaches this week, numerous events are taking place across the world.

Up to 200 Christian Aid supporters from across Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire are expected to gather tonight (Wednesday) at 7.30pm in Marlborough Road Methodist Church, St Albans, in advance of Friday's main programme of events.

A special service will be addressed by Dr Evie Vernon, a Christian Aid partner based in Jamaica.

World AIDS Day on Friday will be marked with a number of talks and workshops at the Crescent drop-in centre from 1pm to 5pm on Friday. The Crescent has offered practical help and advice to those affected by HIV for the past 15 years, offering tests, therapies and counselling along with preventative advice.

Ignorance and prejudice, say campaigners, are hampering the fight against a preventable illness; 38.6million people worldwide are living with HIV or Aids, according to UN figures.

Up to 70,000 people in the UK live with the disease, benefiting from anti-retroviral drugs and advanced treatments.

The story in some parts of the world, however, is very different.

Jenny Ayres, Christian Aid manager for Hertfordshire said: "HIV is a global crisis but we can all do something to tackle it.

"We hope our service will give people the opportunity to reflect on a very serious situation and resolve to take action for positive change."

Recently, the ACET (AIDS Care Education & Training) founder, Patrick Dixon, has commented on the seriousness of Aids: "AIDS is destroying a generation of young people on which the future of these countries depend. In worst-hit towns and cities a family or office worker can expect to attend an AIDS funeral at least once a month.

"Every few seconds another young person becomes infected with HIV without realising it. Tens of millions of children face an uncertain future because their parents have died. Yet AIDS is 100 per cent preventable and it costs very little to save a life," he said.

For more information visit www.worldaidsday.org .

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