MP plants 'tree of life' to mark World Aids Day
By JulieGK | Tuesday, December 11, 2012, 20:11
Peter Lilley MP planted a Mulberry tree on Friday to mark World Aids Day.
Tree of life: l-r John Cliff, Chair of Growing People, Kadine James, HIV support lead, Herts Aid, Cllr Joan Kirby, Chairman of East and North Herts District Council, Tony Richardson, Service user of Herts Aid, Peter Lilley MP for Hitchin & Harpenden and Vicky Wye, Chair of trustees for Triangle Community Garden, Hitchin.
The "Tree of Life" ceremony took place at the Triangle Community Garden, Hitchin to raise awareness of World Aids Day across the county and was led by people living with HIV in Hitchin.
Peter was joined at the ceremony Cllr Joan Kirby, Chairman of North Herts District Council as well as service users from Herts Aid, the Triangle Community Garden's Growing Ability learning disability project, and local mental health project, Growing People.
Peter Lilley said: "Shocking new figures show that a quarter of people living with HIV are unaware they have the virus. This emphasises the importance of events such as this, which raise awareness of the support and treatment available, encourage people to be tested and discourage high risk behaviour.
"Since losing a young relative to AIDS 20 years ago, the use of antiretrovirals now means that HIV/AIDS has ceased to be a death sentence. The stigma of the disease has also been greatly reduced. There is still much to be done, however, and I am grateful to the hard work of organisations such as HertsAid, who continue to raise awareness of this important issue."
The Triangle Garden is a community garden created and cultivated by people of all ages and abilities.