WA goes red for World AIDS Day, signs up for historic initiative

On World AIDS Day on Wednesday 1 December, and the 40th year anniversary of the HIV/AIDS pandemic, WA is the first state in Australia to sign up to the Fast-Track Cities initiative, aimed at getting to zero new HIV infections and zero AIDS-related deaths.

The declaration was signed by Minister for Health, the Hon Roger Cook, MLA, this morning following a community breakfast at Perth’s Yagan Square, hosted by WAAC (formerly the WA AIDS Council), alongside speakers including The Honourable Kim Beazley, AC, Governor of Western Australia, U.S. Consul General, David J. Gainer, and WAAC’s new Chair, Conrad Liveris.

Following the breakfast, WAAC will continue to activate the whole of Perth’s Yagan Square with a number of activities including, an interactive new public artwork utilising augmented reality technology, information stalls, Nova 93.7FM and an AIDS related award-winning movie screening, after which Perth’s iconic landmarks will be lit up in red to raise awareness of HIV, commemorate those who have passed away from AIDS, and show support to people living with the virus.

Lisa Dobrin, CEO of WAAC, says the organisation is absolutely delighted to witness Perth being signed up to the Fast-Track Cities global partnership initiative and its Paris Declaration, to track progress towards achieving UNAIDS 95-95-95, 2025 targets to end AIDS by 2030.

“The UNAIDS 95-95-95 HIV treatment targets are ambitious, but this initiative is a huge step forward in tracking progress towards these targets and we are very excited to see it signed here in Perth on World AIDS Day 2021 for the whole of Western Australia,” Dobrin said.

“We are also extremely grateful to continue to work side by side with our funders, community, sector partners and allies and this year being the 40th year anniversary of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, it is even more significant and crucial to break down barriers to HIV prevention, testing, treatment, care and support, and to stamp out HIV and AIDS-related stigma and discrimination wherever we see it.”

Fast-Track Cities is a global partnership between municipalities and four core partners – International Association of Providers of AIDS Care (IAPAC), UNAIDS, the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), and the City of Paris. Since its launch on World AIDS Day 2014 in Paris, cities in every region of the world have signed the Paris Declaration on Fast-Track Cities Ending the AIDS Epidemic, pledging to accelerate their AIDS responses to attain the UNAIDS 95-95-95 by 2025 and zero stigma and discrimination targets.

Attaining these targets will contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) of ending AIDS as a global public health threat by 2030.

In an additional initiative to commemorate the global day and 40 years of HIV, significant landmarks around Perth will be lit up in red. These include Yagan Square, Optus Stadium, Matagarup Bridge, Elizabeth Quay, The Bell Tower, Council House, Crown Metropol, The Court, Regal Theatre, Perth Concert Hall, Council House, Trafalgar Bridge, St Mary’s Cathedral and The Old Mill which will all be bathed in red.

Memorial enhancements unveiled on eve of World AIDS Day

On the eve of World AIDS Day, WAAC (formerly the WA AIDS Council), in partnership with community members, the Sisters of the Order of Perpetual Indulgence and the City of Vincent, unveiled new public artwork at the AIDS Memorial in Robertson Park in North Perth, which commemorates those around the world who have died from AIDS.

The artwork from Janet Carter acknowledges both the past and future, incorporating symbolism and utilising augmented reality technology, accessed by QR code.

Lisa Dobrin, CEO of WAAC, says the new public artwork will be incorporated into the memorial’s reflection pond, which encompasses an area for contemplation and prayer.

“Our community AIDS memorial is an important place of natural beauty and tranquillity, where people can seek and pause for reflection or quiet contemplation, in addition to providing a landmark location where people who have suffered loss can seek understanding, peace, hope, healing and renewal,” Dobrin says.

“And so, on this the 20th anniversary of the memorial, WAAC very much appreciates the opportunity to work in partnership with both the City of Vincent and commissioned artist Janet Carter, to further enhance the memorial using augmented reality and the experience people can have while spending time in contemplation.”

Based in West Perth, WAAC exists to optimise the sexual health and wellbeing of all West Australians, in addition to improving access to health services and information, and reduce the transmission of HIV, STIs and other blood-borne viruses.

Listen back to Janet Carter’s chat with Leigh Andrew Hill on this morning’s episode of All Things Queer on RTRFM 92.1

OIP Staff

You can support our work by subscribing to our Patreon
or contributing to our GoFundMe campaign.

Tags: , , , , ,