Friday, 8 January 2016

Commemorating the 2015 Candlelight memorial - Kaunda Grounds Gulu District

TASO staff and clients marching towards Kaunda Grounds
This year the Candlelight Memorial was held in Gulu at the Kaunda Grounds. The Function began with a march through the town by representatives of various stakeholders in the HIV and AIDS fight in Uganda. 

The commemoration theme was a continuation of the one used last year for the World AIDS Day campaign which was Getting to Zero: my responsibility. 

Hon. Rev. Fr. Lokodo at the TASO stall
In his speech the Guest of Honor, Hon. Rev. Fr. Simon Lokodo urged service providers to put emphasis on prevention especially through abstinence. He remarked that with a prevalence of 7.1% in Gulu, there should be measures to ensure that it came down. He pointed out that having an average of 400 people getting infected in Uganda every day is alarming. Rev. Fr. Lokodo urged the youth to be vigilant and take responsibility for their lives since they were the future leaders. He went on to say that promiscuity and pornography are making sex cheap and yet it was meant for only those who are married and are faithful to each other. He concluded his speech by encouraging all AIDS Service providers and Development Partners to work with Government rather than expect parallel services for its people.

Also present were members of the Parliamentary committee on HIV and AIDS, the Chairman Uganda AIDS Commisssion - Prof. Vinand Nantulya, the representative of the Inter Religious Council of Uganda - Msgr. Odong as well as representatives from various stakeholder organisations working both in Gulu and elsewhere in Uganda. 

TASO staff and clients participated during the march through town, the drama group presented several items and staff had an exhibition stall at the grounds. An estimated 200 people visited the TASO stall asking about services and especially where they can go to be tested for HIV.
Guests at the TASO stall
TASO team in Gulu





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