Congleton Pride has presented Congleton Town Council with a special flag to commemorate World AIDS Day on 1 December, on the understanding that the flag will fly from Congleton Town Hall each year on that day.
Speaking at the recent Congleton Pride Annual General Meeting, Colin Avery of BodyPositive Cheshire said that although enormous progress has been made both in HIV treatments and public attitudes, there is still stigma and prejudice associated with HIV.
“BodyPositive was created to create the community support for people with HIV/AIDS at a time when the disease was at its height in the 1990s.Of course anyone can contract HIV, but in the early days it was used to attack and vilify LGBT people and some of the experiences were horrific. Many people with AIDS were isolated and even died alone, abandoned by friends and family. Now we have much better treatments and people can live a good life with HIV. Still it is important to remind us that the HIV pandemic has not gone away and we should continue to be vigilant and press for better treatments, and ultimately, a cure.”
Cllr Richard Walton, a Town Councillor and Trustee of Congleton Pride, organised the purchase of the flag by Pride for Congleton. He said: “Commemorating all those who lost their lives to AIDs and at the same time raising awareness of the ongoing challenge of HIV is something that the Pride team believes we should be doing in Congleton. Many thanks to my Council colleagues who agreed to fly the flag.”
At the AGM the flag was handed over by the Founder of Congleton Pride, Ronan Clayton, to the Council’s Deputy Chief Officer Jackie MacArthur, who said: “It is wonderful what the Pride team has done for the last four years to remind Congleton of the importance of equality and inclusion, and I’m delighted to accept this flag on behalf of the Town Council. We will fly it from the Town Hall on 1December to remember those who we lost to AIDS and in recognition of the ongoing challenge of HIV.”
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