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World AIDS Day, 1 December 2009

Light for Rights

The first Light for Rights: Keep the light on HIV and human rights event was held on 1 December 2009 in New York. The United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon joined leaders in the AIDS response and entertainment stars to commemorate World AIDS at the City’s historic Washington Square Park Memorial Arch.

The year’s Light for Rights event will also be held on 1 December 2010 in New York at the City’s historic Washington Square Park Memorial Arch, 5:30pm to 6:30pm, headlined by Academy Award Winner Actress Liza Minnelli, amfAR Board Chair Kenneth Cole, and the Broadway Inspirational Voices.

Light for Rights was inspired by Night without Light, a project organized by Visual AIDS in the early 1990s in which the skylines of New York and San Francisco were darkened, by turning off the architectural illumination on key landmarks, as a symbolic reflection for the lives lost due to HIV.

The Light for Rights campaign compliments the theme for this year’s World AIDS Day: human rights and universal access. This year, it encourages 100 cities around the world to dim the lights on public landmarks to remember the devastating affect AIDS has had, and to turn the lights back on to illuminate the fundamental human rights shared by all but often denied people living with HIV.

“The Light for Rights campaign sends a message of hope to the world,” said Michel Sidibé, Executive Director of UNAIDS. “The power of light can convey the message that human rights are essential to the AIDS response.”
The Lights for Rights initiative is organized by a coalition comprised of  the World AIDS Campaign, UNAIDS, amfAR External Link, and Broadway cares/Equality Fights AIDS External Link.

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