Ireland marks World AIDS Day 2021

Yesterday, December 1 2021, marked World AIDS Day and the occasion was met with many events, campaigns and initiatives across Ireland.

World AIDS Day 2021: LIVING exhibition (left), Robbie Lawlor (centre), red lit building (right)

World AIDS Day 2021 marked the fortieth anniversary of the first AIDS diagnosis. To honour this milestone anniversary, there were many happenings across Ireland, many of which you still have a chance to experience.

Here are some of the highlights.



Brought to you by GCN and HIV Ireland collaboratively, LIVING is a unique and fabulous photographic exhibition of people living with HIV.


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A post shared by Hazel Coonagh (@hazelcoonagh)

With stunning photography by the talented Hazel Coonagh, the collection was launched yesterday at The CHQ Building in Dublin and hosted by none other than national treasure and gender discombobulist, Panti Bliss.


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A post shared by Dr Panti Bliss-Cabrera (@pantibliss)

The event saw a great turnout, an amazing atmosphere and moving words from a number of participants in the project. But don’t worry if you couldn’t make it!  The exhibition will be on display until Friday, December 10.

2. Positive Storytelling: Sharing Your Status

World AIDS Day 2021 also saw the release of a powerful video featuring the stories of people living with HIV in Ireland.

This empowering tribute seeks to combat stigma and tell the stories of those who are underrepresented in society.

“I shared my status with Robbie Lawlor and Veda Lady in their podcast POZVibez, and it has been one of the most liberating experiences I’ve ever had,” said Luis Noguera Benitez, one of the voices behind the video.

“I’m honoured and humbled by the entire experience and looking forward to keeping creating!”


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A post shared by Luis Noguera Benitez (@louisnoguera)

And speaking of POZVibez…

3. POZVibez Podcast at The George

The George, Dublin, played host to the POZVibez Podcast event to mark the occasion.

Hosted by Robbie Lawlor (who also appeared in the Positive Storytelling video) and Veda Lady, the night was full of amazing performers including Regina George, Pixie Woo, Chanel and Maura Darragh among others.

While the event was largely a celebration of how far we’ve come, as pointed out by Robbie Lawlor, it was also an occasion of mourning. They described the occasion as, “A special night where we commemorated all those who have sadly lost their lives to AIDS, celebrated how far we have come medically and got angry about how much we still need to do!”


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A post shared by Robbie Lawlor (@robbielwr)

4. #GlowRed4WAD

HIV Ireland invited us all to glow red and show support for those living with HIV, and many organisations across the country did just that.

Susan Donlon from HIV Ireland wrote on Twitter, “Well, Ireland definitely did #GLOWRED4WAD, from Donegal to Cork, Dublin to Galway, Meath to Wexford… and many more.

“As the pictures keep coming in, my colleague Marie has created a slide show. Take a look.”

You can check out that scarlet slideshow of solidarity here.

5. Winter Pride Fingal

Winter Pride launched in Fingal and will run from January 20 to February 22, 2022.

This is just one of many Winter Pride festival events happening across the country, and part of the exhibition “The Quilt: Echoes & Memories” will still be available for viewing at Fingal County Council until Thursday, December 9.

6. World AIDS Day mural in Cork

An amazing mural has been commissioned in Cork to mark the day.

The mural depicts a person dancing merrily and wearing a red HIV ribbon like a scarf, with the perfect tagline: “Positive people live positive lives”.

Designed in consultation with a number of people living with HIV, the mural is located on Grattan Street and aims to shine a light on the stigma attached to HIV.

© 2021 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

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