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An AIDS memorial for Canberra

By johnboy - 20 May 2012 89

Andrew Barr has announced he’s launching the Canberra Permanent AIDS Memorial Project.

This project will provide Canberra with a lasting commemoration to the lives of everyone affected by HIV/AIDS.

I will launch the fundraising drive at the 29th International AIDS Candlelight Memorial, to be held this evening at 6.00pm at the National Gallery of Australia.

Over the next 12 months the AIDS Action Council of the ACT and the broader community aims to raise $30,000 to build and install the Canberra Permanent AIDS Memorial with a view to unveiling it in 2013, which is the 30th anniversary of the Candlelight memorial, 30 years since HIV was first diagnosed in Australia, and the Centenary of Canberra.

Today there are more than 33 million people living with HIV worldwide – and more than 30 million people have died from an AIDS-related illness. More than 21,000 people in Australia are living with diagnosed HIV, and 6819 Australians have died from AIDS-related illnesses.

As a thought exercise are there any other diseases we should be memorialising?


UPDATE 20/05/12 21:26: Andrew Barr has Tweeted his disappointment in some of you:

Also on facebook he had this to say:

It didn’t take long… A profoundly disappointing, ignorant and bigoted response from some…


UPDATE 21/05/12 09:08: And then this:

What’s Your opinion?


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89 Responses to
An AIDS memorial for Canberra
31
goggles13 7:00 am
21 May 12
#

schmeah said :

You lot are childish. The government isn’t paying for it and honestly, it’s a memorial to commemorate people who have died before their time .. seriously, think about that before opening letting rip on your keyboard.

Gee, it must be a really hard life, being a bigot .. so much hate inside.

wow some emotive words there, and some which are quite objectional!

I think most people who have responded to this thread are trying to understand why there is a need for such a memorial and why other diseases are not been memoralised in a similar way.

Some of us are also trying to understand the link between a politician elected to represent us all, and support of one group. as per usual, the link is not 100% clear – blame the spin doctors for that one.

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32
I-filed 7:46 am
21 May 12
#

Fliponout said :

Some People have nothing better to do than bitch and complain about things…
“They should get a life”
Yes there will be a Garden … Well Done to the Person who used there initiative to come up with a brilliant idea and place that they can go to express their feeling for a love ones, that have been lost to this horrible disease.
I cannot see the ACT Government stoping other community groups who what want to follow the lead doing the same.
This is the National Capital of Australia not a country Town and we should be leading the nation in ideas that help heal not embarking on bitching about people that do…

Barr hasn’t addressed the issue of why this is all being linked to the Canberra Centenary with false anniversary claims.

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33
Tool 7:49 am
21 May 12
#

And again if the majority disagree play the minority card and call everyone a bigot, such a well constructed response Mr Barr . Since noone is gonna touch it I will, is his homosexuality influencing the direction of the government? Last week it was addressing homophobia in sport and now it is this, seems that he has an agenda to me.

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34
HenryBG 7:55 am
21 May 12
#

JulesZ said :

gazket said :

Andrew Barr pushing his own barrow again

So Andrew Barr has AIDS, does he?

About 27,000 people in Australia have had AIDS. Ever. That’s it. Very few people know somebody with AIDS and even less have ever had a family member catch it.

On a scale of 1-100 of diseases that have affected Australians, AIDS comes in at about 99. But one of the blokes whose salary we pay to run this city is once again grandstanding and promoting some tiny little minority lobby group instead of attending to real issues.

What was the last one? Legislation concerning the use of Gift Vouchers? FFS, this lot are such a waste of my money.

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35
Diggety 8:32 am
21 May 12
#

Tool said :

And again if the majority disagree play the minority card and call everyone a bigot, such a well constructed response Mr Barr . Since noone is gonna touch it I will, is his homosexuality influencing the direction of the government? Last week it was addressing homophobia in sport and now it is this, seems that he has an agenda to me.

+1

Politicians should be firm in their commitment to all our needs, every other homosexual politician is capable of it, why not him?

If he has some personal issues still lingering, then his entry into politics was premature.

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36
Diggety 8:33 am
21 May 12
#

I’ve always found it silly to erect a memorial while the battle is still raging.

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37
Jim Jones 9:19 am
21 May 12
#

Anything that gets the rednecks foaming at the mouth like this gets a big two thumbs up from me.

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38
Erg0 9:38 am
21 May 12
#

Reading this thread, I can’t help but notice a few similarities with the arguments against gay marriage. Memorialising AIDS victims somehow devalues victims of other diseases? Puh-lease.

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39
dungfungus 9:41 am
21 May 12
#

I am curious as to why the National Gallery of Australia was chosen as the venue for the 29th International AIDS Candlelight Memorial. Didn’t Barr give the NGA $500K of ratepayers money to NGA last week to promote their forthcoming risque French exhibition?
Barr seems to be spending a lot of time at the NGA lately.

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40
Postalgeek 9:50 am
21 May 12
#

MLAs launch everything from gallery exhibitions to stadium lounges and private developments, with not a whisper of complaint.

Suddenly people are bitching about an MLA launching a self-funded memorial project dedicated to victims of a disease that has claimed millions of adults and children around the world? There are some f***ed-up people in this place.

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41
SnapperJack 9:55 am
21 May 12
#

This is another example of ideologically based gesture politics, like the SIEV-X memorial in Weston Park. Incidentally, more gay men have died – and continue to die – from prostate cancer than AIDS.

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42
Ben_Dover 10:00 am
21 May 12
#

Dracon388 said :

I think it’s a wonderful idea. HIV/AIDS effects people and has such a social sitgma around it, a memorial to remember those lost would be great.

“Affects” FFS!

And I must agree with many others here, this is a politically correct vote grabbing attempt nothing else. We all die of something, HIV/AIDS is a terrible disease, but not as prolific as say malaria which caused an estimated 655 000 deaths last year.

To single out HIV/AIds for a “memorial”out of all reasons for death in this country, cannot be justified. It woudl be a meaningless gesture.

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43
Oped 10:01 am
21 May 12
#

It is fantastic to get engagement from a broad range of people on the launch of this Community initiative.

As way of education there is a difference between HIV and AIDS. HIV infection is a virus, which thanks to years of medical research and treatment development is now considered a long-term manageable chronic illness and allows many people living with HIV to never develop AIDS (which is a disease of the immune system) and live relatively healthy lives.

To correct the stats quoted by HenryBG there are over 31,000 people known to be living with HIV in Australia and only about 10,000 people in Australia have ever had an AIDS diagnosis, thanks to the community response in the early 80’s when the epidemic first started. That being said it is expected that around 25% of people living with HIV in Australia are not aware of their HIV status.

The AIDS Action Council of the ACT is a health promotion organisation that engages with the many sectors of the Canberra community that are impacted or at risk of HIV. This includes not just gay men (or men that have sex with other men) but hetrosexual women, children and men. A constant conversation and education is required to ensure people within our community in Canberra are able to make informed decisions when engaging in behavior that may put them at risk of contracting HIV.

As seen by the tread above HIV and AIDS still is very misunderstood by the boarder community even after 30 years and it is a lot different from a public health perspective as quoted by some HIV/AIDS is seen as an acquired disease. Some may argue that obesity; diabetes and heart disease are just as acquirable although I do acknowledge that genetics can play a role. Many people living with HIV in Canberra do so in the shadows yet if you have cancer, diabetes or another chronic illness (or a common cold) there is broader community sympathy and support.

May 2013 will mark the 25th Annual Candlelight Memorial held here in the ACT (which just also happens to be Canberra’s Centenary year). There is no permanent memorial site for these memorials to be held so the community fundraising efforts are to put in place a permanent reminder and honor the memory of those in the ACT Community that have been lost to AIDS and to also provide a place of reflection for those living with HIV, their families and friends who are impacted and affected by this virus.

Unfortunately in 2012 we still need to be ‘in your face’ about HIV and its risks as new infections within our community are still occurring. The message and conversation needs to continue, with the hope that one day it will be eradicated in our community just like small pox.

Scott Malcolm (President – AIDS Action Council of ACT Inc)

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44
Mysteryman 10:06 am
21 May 12
#

Oh of course… disagreeing with something makes you a bigot/redneck/philistine. I had forgotten how things worked in the legislative assembly.

What a dolt.

On a related matter – how does one get land to erect a memorial? Are the AIDS Action Council planning on doing this on their own land, or are they doing it on public land?

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45
schmeah 10:15 am
21 May 12
#

Erg0 said :

Reading this thread, I can’t help but notice a few similarities with the arguments against gay marriage. Memorialising AIDS victims somehow devalues victims of other diseases? Puh-lease.

+1 well put!

I didn’t know so many people in society felt so strongly about getting a memorial for those who die from the flu. Maybe they should get their act together like the AIDS Action Council clearly has.

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