Chennai, Feb.14 : Around 50 AIDS /HIV affected persons participated in a special function hosted here to mark St.Valentine's Day on its eve on Wednesday. Also attending the function were transgenders from different parts of the city.
Organised jointly by Tamil Nadar AIDS solidarity action and Action Aid India at Thiru V Ka Park at Chennai's Shenay Nagar, the function was used to create public awareness about HIV/AIDS affected individuals and highlight fight social stigma faced by them.
A heart decorated with 3,355 natural roses 10 ft tall and 10 ft of wide was displayed at the main gate of the park for visitors' welcome.
HIV affected people along with volunteers distributed roses and handouts to the general public.
On the occasion, public was urged to understand the problems of the affected people.
"The major challenge is the stigma and discrimination that isolates HIV positive people from society. Today, we wanted to emphasize our love, support and care for people living with HIV/AIDS," said Hariharan, the organizer of this event.
Saint Valentine's Day embraces a time of year that is historically associated with love and fertility. It encompasses the sacred marriage of Zeus and Hera in Ancient Athens and the Ancient Roman festival of Lupercus, the god of fertility.
The first official Saint Valentine's Day was declared on February 14 by Pope Galasius in 496, in memory of a 3rd century martyred priest in Rome.