THE Christmas lights on County Hall turned red on Saturday for World AIDS Day, which takes place on 1st December every year to raise awareness of AIDS and people living with HIV.

Tyisha councillor Andre McPherson, who lobbied Carmarthenshire County Council to change the colour of the lights, joined Nia Griffith MP and others in town on the weekend to mark the occasion.

Mr McPherson explained: “An important part of World AIDS Day is showing solidarity for people living with HIV in our community and tackle the stigma that can hold people back.

“I am pleased that the County Council eventually agreed to mark this event properly. Symbols like this matter to those affected, so I hope we will less resistance to these initiatives in future.”

Llanelli’s MP Nia Griffith said: “I would like to thank Cllr Andre McPherson for persuading Carmarthenshire County Council to illuminate County Hall in red for World AIDS Day. This is an important occasion when we all wear our red ribbons with pride and recognise that much more still needs to be done to reduce transmissions of HIV and the stigma all too often associated with it.

“My colleague Lloyd Russell-Moyle MP has made this year particularly special by speaking so bravely and powerfully about his HIV diagnosis in the House of Commons on Thursday. His courage will change countless people’s lives for the better, encourage others to get tested and go a long way to break down the stigma and myths around HIV.”

Lee Waters AM added: “I remember as a kid seeing the first government adverts on Aids, and it was portrayed as a scary, deviant disease. The legacy of that stigma is still with us and is stopping people from getting tested, even though people with HIV can live as long and healthily as anybody else.

“On World AIDS Day I took a HIV test to try and break down this stigma so that all people living with HIV can live their lives free from prejudice.

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