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Candlelight Memorial event held in Yerevan, Armenia

On May 20, 2012, candles were lighted at the square on the Northern Avenue of Armenian capital city Yerevan to mark the International AIDS Candlelight Memorial Day and remember the AIDS victims.

The event was initiated by UNFPA Armenia, Armenia Y-peer Network, and "Solidarity of Generations" NGO. This year the of the event was Promoting Health and Dignity Together.

The International AIDS Candlelight Memorial day is commemorated throughout the world since 1983, and it is held every third Sunday in May. 

The International Day of Commemorating HIV/AIDS Victims has been celebrated annually since 1983. It was declared a commemoration day by 115 countries and 1,200 non-governmental organizations.

According to UN data, there are 34 million HIV-infected individuals across the globe, of whom 1.8 million die of AIDS-related complications.

In Armenia, from 1988 to 30 April 2012 1226 HIV cases had been registered in the country among the citizens of the Republic of Armenia with 182 new cases of HIV infection have been registered during 2011.

Males constitute a major part in the total number of HIV cases - 864 cases (70.5%), females make up 362 cases (29.5%). 1226 reported cases include 23 cases of HIV infection among children (1.9%).

56.9% of the HIV-infected individuals belong to the age group of 25-39.

In the Republic of Armenia the main modes of HIV transmission are through heterosexual practices (55.1%) and injecting drug use (35.8%). Additionally, there are also registered cases through homosexual practices, as well as mother-to-child HIV transmission and through blood transfusions.