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Press release

  • 29 November 2004
  • Sussex marks World AIDS Day

    Students and staff at the University of Sussex will be decking the campus in red ribbons, including one made of glowing candles, to mark World AIDS Day.

    The campus community is also being encouraged to wear any item of red - the colour of the AIDS ribbon - to show support. Trees will be covered in red fabric and large banners will be hung across the campus grounds.

    Students will be running stalls offering information and advice about HIV / AIDS throughout the day. As daylight fades, candles will be placed near the library to form a glowing ribbon, the international symbol of AIDS Awareness.

    An evening of entertainment is planned in a large bar on campus, with raffle and pub quiz, to raise money for HIV charities. The day will end with free condoms being handed out at the students' club night held weekly at Creation on West St.

    The day will tie in with the global theme of HIV/AIDS and Women. Nearly 50 per cent of the 39.4 million people infected with HIV worldwide are women. In the Caribbean, which is the second worst hit area of the world after sub-Saharan Africa, young women are twice as likely as men of the same age to become infected. As well as facing higher rates of infection, they are also more affected by HIV, often keeping families devastated by HIV together and caring for loved ones.

    UNISEX, the university's sexual health and drug/alcohol service for staff and students, has been coordinating the day. Tom Burke, UNISEX Project Worker and a University of Sussex student, says: "We wanted to mark the unique way in which women carry the burden of HIV/AIDS across the globe. The events planned give people the opportunity to learn more, celebrate positive action being taken to tackle HIV and to commemorate those who have lost their lives to HIV/AIDS."

    The events have been organised by UNISEX in association with the Students STOP AIDS, Women's Group, LGBT Group, the African, Caribbean and Asian Society, Project V and the University's Student Union.

    University of Sussex Vice-Chancellor Alasdair Smith says: "The University community can lead the way in raising awareness of HIV/AIDS. It is very important that such work continues so that the threat of HIV/AIDS is tackled both globally and locally."


    Notes for editors 

     ·         Photo opportunity of the glowing red ribbon will be available from 4pm. Please contact Tom Burke, tel: 07870 362 025 or 01273 678 641, to arrange.

     ·         Money raised on the day will be donated to the International Community of Women Living with HIV. Visit for further information.

     Press Office contacts: Maggie Clune, tel 01273 678209, or email


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