Task Force on HIV/ AIDS to hold candlelight vigil Oct. 1

On Wednesday, Oct. 1 at 6 p.m., the Bristol Mayor’s Task Force on HIV/AIDS will hold its annual Candlelight Vigil on Federal Hill Green. The Task Force includes a broad group of individuals and agencies all of whom recognize the seriousness of the HIV/AIDS epidemic and its effects locally. They meet monthly at City Hall to address local concerns and to plan prevention efforts.

The annual HIV/AIDS Vigil is held during Connecticut’s AIDS Awareness month each year to remember those who have been infected and affected by this disease. All are welcome to attend. A white board for optional listing of names to be read aloud during the vigil will be provided. Eighty two people are reported as living with HIV/AIDS in Bristol by the Connecticut Department of Public Health.

The event includes an invocation by Father Joseph DiSciacca of Saint Joseph’s Church, an update on the HIV/AIDS situation in Bristol from the Bristol-Burlington Health District, greetings from Mayor Ken Cockayne and musical performances by the Bristol Eastern High School Madrigal Choir. The main speaker will be Valerie Ingram from the Human Resources Agency in New Britain. Ingram has many years of experience with working in the community providing HIV/AIDS education and services. Hot chocolate will be provided by the Salvation Army after the conclusion.

The Task Force began meeting in 1991 when few services were available for those affected by HIV and little education had been done. Today, greater Bristol has more services for those affected by the disease, including housing programs, medical care and support groups.

There is no charge for attending and all are welcome. For further information please contact Christina Cipriani atChristina.Cipriani@hdisp.org or 860-589-6433.