Candlelight vigil to honor HIV victims

Malama Pono Health Services will host a candlelight vigil Sunday evening at Kalapaki Beach Park to commemorate those who have died of HIV or are living with the virus.

Attendees will talk story, offer thoughts of hope, share a song or prayer and end the vigil by sending prayers for the future, while casting flower petals into the sea.

The event will begin at 6:30 p.m., to commemorate World AIDS Day, an annual event to increase HIV awareness to support those living and remember those who have died.

“This is a special day for anyone who has lost a loved one to HIV/AIDS and one of reflection for all,” Malama Pono Health Services Executive Director Michael Sorensen said in a prepared statement.

“Everyone has an HIV status and should know it. We plead for all to get tested and for those who are positive to get treatment.”

According to the Mayo Clinic, HIV interferes with a person’s ability to fight disease-causing organisms and is spread most often through sexual contact; contaminated needles or syringles; infected blood or blood products; and from infected women to their babies at birth or through breastfeeding.

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