Feature story

Shining light on rights this World AIDS Day in New York

01 December 2009


To focus on the human rights of people living with HIV, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will be joined UNAIDS Goodwill Ambassador Naomi Watts, Kenneth Cole, chairman, board of trustees, amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, New York City Speaker of the City Council Christine C. Quinn, and 13-year-old AIDS activist Keren Dunaway-Gonzalez in New York City.

They will gather at the Washington Square Park Memorial Arch where the floodlights illuminating the monument will be turned off at 6:15 to remember those lost to AIDS and will be turned back on by 6:20 to emphasize the need to shine the light on human rights for those living with HIV around the globe.

Floodlights on the Empire State Building, clearly visible through the arch, will also be turned off and turned back on at the same time. Other participating venues turning off their lights in New York City include all Broadway theaters, Madison Square Garden, Lincoln Center, the Chrysler Building, and the Brooklyn Bridge.

The New York event is part of global “Light for Rights Campaign” organized by amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research; UNAIDS; Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS; and World AIDS Campaign.

amfAR and its partner organizations have created a special Light for Rights campaign web site (www.lightforrights.org) that provides descriptions of Light for Rights activities that can be organized in other locations, social networking ideas, and templates for campaigning.

World AIDS Day is an international day of celebration, remembrance and an opportunity for people around the globe to renew their commitment in the AIDS response. The theme for this year is "Universal Access and Human Rights".