On Sunday, May 15 the AIDS Candlelight Memorial 2016 was held in the city of Den Bosch, capital of the province Northern Brabant. It was organized in a small theatre by Untenu Foundation, COC Northeast Brabant (local branch of Dutch LGBT-association) and HVNBrabant (branch of Dutch HIV Association).
AIDS Candlelight Memorial 2016
Jan van Velthoven, chairman COC Northeast Brabant, welcomed the public. He talked about the differences between HIV in the eighties and nineties versus nowadays, and about the situation of HIV positive people in the wealthy West versus Uganda, Thailand and Cambodia.
Robin Irwin, coordinator HVN Brabant, presented one of the quilts with names of AIDS victims. And he introduced two ‘long time survivors’.
Wolfgang Schreiber, who lost two partners due to HIV/AIDS, after his life story lit the first candle and invited the audience to join him in lighting a candle in memory of the cherished friends.
Corina Vermeulen talked over the evolution of her many years with HIV. From the first time in secret till the new perspective, that made her decide to be outspoken about her HIV.
Ron van Zeeland, chairman Untenu Foundation, introduced Vanna Hem’s documentary Karma? about two HIV positive transgenders Krel Pao and Shrey Leak. The audience was very impressed by their story.
Film & Singalong
After the pause Sheilla Bijoux & Zarah Meander, Untenu’s lady ambassadors, invited the public to join them in singing beloved songs like The Rose and That’s what friends are for. The benefit of this evening was € 778,20 ($ 880).
We thank all volunteers who helped to realize this Memorial, especially COC for providing room and equipment.