Lying here in the middle of the night, the sound of the rain beating on the windows and the wind howling around the rooftops. During these dark nights, my mind often wanders.
And right now, it is reminding me that Saturday is World AIDS Day.
My mind circles around the memories of friends and acquaintances I lost in the peak of the crisis in London. I remember all the talented celebrities who died, such as Freddy Mercury, Rudolf Nureyev, Arthur Ashe, Derek Jarman. I ponder the unnecessary number of beautiful young people, unknown to most of us, who succumbed to the disease over the last 30+ years. An estimated 35,4 million people have died from AIDS since the beginning of the epidemic, to quote the grim statistics.
Today, in Sweden about 10000 people live with diagnosed HIV and Sweden has become the first country in the world to achieve the UN goal for identification and treatment of people with HIV.
But that’s not the case on many other countries, where HIV continues to devastate communities and families. In East and Southern Africa, an incomprehensible 19 million people are believed to live with the infection, and an additional 25% don’t know their status.
World AIDS Day (WAD), designated on 1 December every year since 1988, is an international day dedicated to raising awareness of the AIDS pandemic caused by the spread of HIV infection and mourning those who have died of the disease.
In Stockholm, Noak’s Ark has a day of lectures, meetings and performances to commemorate the day. Check out their web page.
Tomorrow night, Friday 30 November, there is a WAD concert at Maria Magdalena Church on Bellmansgatan on Södermalm. I will be there to sing with my choir and to show respect for those who are living and who have died.
It starts at 17.30 and is open to all.
Please come along.