Ireland glows red in landmark display of solidarity for World AIDS Day

On this year's World AIDS Day, buildings all over Ireland glowed red to raise awareness about the fight against HIV-related stigma.

Cork City Hall in red light, as part of a campaign in Ireland on World AIDS Day.
Image: Via Twitter - @HIVIreland

Several prominent buildings across Ireland were lit up in red yesterday, to mark this year’s World AIDS Day and raise awareness about the ongoing fight against HIV-related stigma.

The initiative was part of the Glow RED campaign launched by HIV Ireland, which aims to eliminate the stigma faced by people living with HIV by 2030. Not only were many buildings all over Ireland glowing red on World AIDS Day, but social media were also flooded with pictures of people wearing red clothes and the iconic red ribbon pins to symbolise their support for ending HIV-related stigma.

This year marks exactly 40 years since the first cases of HIV and AIDS cases were reported in Ireland in 1992. Still today, people living with HIV in this country often face discrimination and exclusion that are rooted in the misconceptions and moral judgement that persist around HIV and AIDS. Fighting the stigma is vital to the mental and physical wellbeing of people living with HIV.

A series of events took place all over the island to commemorate this year’s World AIDS Day. HIV Ireland brought back their annual Red Ball, the gala that took place at the Guinness Storehouse and helped raise much-needed funds for the organisation.


Between music performances and a fundraising auction, the event featured an interview with activist and former GCN’s cover star Rebecca Tallon de Havilland, who was this year’s ambassador for the Glow Red campaign. Rebecca spoke about her experience as a woman living with HIV in Ireland and overcoming HIV-related stigma.

“A massive THANK YOU to all the companies, businesses, artists, designers, theatres, retailers and sporting organisations supporting the annual #REDBall this evening by donating prizes and goodies for our fundraising Raffle and Auction.” tweeted HIV Ireland after the event.


Other events also took place in several cities in Ireland, such as the annual World AIDS Day Concert in Galway, hosted by Sexual Health West, and the Living exhibition, created by HIV Ireland and GCN, which was displayed at the Metropolitan Arts Centre (MAC) in Belfast.

Last but not least, the powerful documentary film How To Tell A Secret began its full-scale Irish cinema release yesterday in honour of World AIDS Day 2022. Starring activist Robbie Lawlor and drag icon Veda, the film is an exploration of the experiences of people living with HIV in today’s Ireland. If you haven’t seen the movie yet, you’re still in time to fix that as the screenings will continue until December 8. Find the full list of cinemas where the film is on here.


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