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HIV Memorial Monument Unveiled in Phoenix Park

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has unveiled a monument in the Phoenix Park today to remember and celebrate the lives of people affected by HIV and AIDS. Speaking at the event, Mr Varadkar announced that Ireland is giving €750,000 in extra funding to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

“The great advances in prevention, treatment and care we have seen for HIV/AIDS over the last 20 years have helped to save millions of lives,” Mr Varadkar said.

“In spite of this incredible progress, we can never forget the devastating effect that HIV and AIDS has had on people, families, communities and entire nations,” he added.

The ‘Embraced Loop’ monument is located in the People’s Gardens in the Phoenix Park and is designed to express solidarity with everyone who has been affected by HIV and AIDS. It was also created to remember those who have died and celebrate their lives and the people who supported them.

Artists Anaisa Franco and Michael R DiCarlo designed the monument, with their design being selected for having universal appeal and for its use of the red ribbon associated with HIV and AIDS awareness.

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly said: “It is fitting that we now have a permanent memorial to remember and celebrate not only the lives of all of those impacted by HIV and AIDS directly and their families and friends, but also the doctors, nurses, carers and researchers who dedicated so much of their lives and work to the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of HIV and to improving care.”

In a statement, Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Micheál Martin said the monument is a reminder that the world must continue trying to combat the impact of HIV and AIDS.

“Access to that treatment remains a problem in many countries, particularly for the most vulnerable in society and particularly in Africa. Ireland continues to support organisations to provide access to treatment that keeps people healthy and prevents transmission,” Mr Martin said.

Source: Rte