Some buildings in Prague, Brno, Olomouc, Zlín, Děčín, Ústí nad Labem, Chrudim and Pilsen will light up red at 20:00 today to commemorate the victims of AIDS.
According to the representatives of the Czech AIDS Society, the Light for AIDS event is also intended to draw attention to the problem of stigmatizing HIV-positive people and the growing number of HIV cases.
“In the last year, the world has paid attention to the fight against COVID-19 while other serious diseases, including HIV, have been somewhat forgotten. People were less likely to seek preventive medical care and the number of HIV tests decreased. Unfortunately, HIV itself will not disappear and remains a major problem for society,” said Jiří Pavlát, director of the House of Light of the Czech AIDS Society.
A total of 251 new HIV infections were registered in the Czech Republic last year, 29 cases more than in 2019. Forty-four people developed AIDS and 18 patients died of it, the State Health Institute told a press conference.
At the end of March, there were 3,892 HIV-positive people living in the country, ie 248 more than on March 31 last year.
Since October 1985, when records began, a total of 3,841 people have been infected with HIV in the Czech Republic. Of those, 718 of got AIDS and 329 people died. Most new HIV infections in 2020 were among people in their early thirties. The highest number of HIV infections was in 2015, with 286 cases.
The Dancing House, the Žižkov Tower, the Petřín Lookout Tower and the Ministry of Health will lit red in Prague tonight, which is also the color of the ribbon, which has become a symbol of support for HIV-positive and AIDS patients.
The J. K. Tyl Theater in Pilsen, the Museum of Puppet Cultures in Chrudim, the building of the JAMU Film Faculty in Brno and the Zlín skyscraper will also turn red.