The following events are being held in Birmingham to mark World AIDS Day, December 1. Money raised will go to Terrence Higgins Trust (THT) and other HIV and sexual health charities.

Matthew Keogh Regional Manager for Terrence Higgins Trust in Birmingham said: “HIV hasn’t gone away; in fact the figures are still rising. We really hope that people in Birmingham will get involved in World AIDS Day this year. They could attend a fundraising event, donate to the cause or even just wear a red ribbon to raise awareness. “

Thursday 30 November – Saturday 2 December

• Breaking the Silence: Charity Concert
cock+ bull productions, in association with the Nightingale Club, will be performing a mix of song, dance, monologues and performance pieces, while asking the audience to help break the silence surrounding HIV.

The diverse cast includes the international burlesque star Lily Dumont (the winner of the 2006 Erotic Award for Best Performance Artist), the acoustic country-pop artist Fiona Elizabeth and the Big Band singer Laura Poyner. The show will feature popular Broadway hits from shows such as Rent, Cabaret and Boy George’s Taboo. Extracts from Tony-Award winning play Angels in America, and monologues from Bill Russell’s Elegies for Angels, Punks and Raging Queens will also be performed.

All profits will go to three HIV charities: Terrence Higgins Trust, National AIDS Trust and Avert.

Friday December 1

• Candlelight Vigil: Birmingham Cathedral will be hosting the annual Candlelight Vigil from 8pm. As well as a chance for reflection, the evening will include singing and drama. There will be performances from three choirs, Unshaken Gospel, Rainbow Voices and the Birmingham Explosion Choir. The Malarkey Theatre will perform a short play exploring the stigma faced by a young woman going for an HIV test. In addition, a guest speaker, Robert Fieldhouse, Treatments Editor of Positive Nation, the UK’s HIV and sexual health magazine, will contribute to the event.

• Advertising Campaign: There will be a month long advertising campaign raising awareness of HIV and promoting the WAD vigil. A number of buses, cabs and vans will drive around Birmingham with advertising hoardings in the run-up to World AIDS Day and for a several weeks afterwards.

Week Long Events

• Art Exhibition and Silent Auction: Works of art will be on show at Birmingham Cathedral between the 27 November and 4 December. People will be able to place bids for their favourite works throughout the week in a silent auction. The proceeds will go to THT’s hardship fund to help those living with HIV and affected by HIV, as well as to local support group ABplus.

• HIV Awareness Raising: Throughout Birmingham city centre volunteers will be handing out red ribbons, information materials and asking members of the general public to “sign the pledge” to raise awareness on World AIDS Day. There will also be a number of street collections.

Please come along and show your support on World AIDS Day!

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