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World AIDS Day 2012

A colourful and uplifting commemoration for World AIDS Day took place in Limerick on November 28th.

The theme of this year’s Irish Aid Father Michael Kelly World Aids Day event addressed ‘Education, sports and music – social vaccines against AIDS’. In keeping with its namesake, the evening was punctuated with superb musical and dance performances hosted by the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance in the University of Limerick.

The speakers at the event included Minister Joe Costello, Minister of State for Trade and Development; Professor Sarah Moore, Associate VP Academic, University of Limerick; Father Michael Kelly, HIV and Education; Ann Mason, Red Ribbon Project HIV/AIDS Limerick; Dr. Busi Mooka, Consultant (Infectious Diseases),Limerick; and Marcus Horan, Munster Rugby Player. A panel discussion was chaired by Professor Tom Lodge, University of Limerick, while Dr. Douglas Hamilton, Senior HIV/AIDS Advisor, Irish Aid facilitated the evening.

The presentations were informative and engaging, addressing the local HIV epidemic in Ireland and Limerick, the global HIV epidemic and the value of education, music and sports as strategies to combat the continued spread of the disease.

Attendees at World Aid Day event in Limerick

L-R: Marcus Horan, Minister Costello, Ann Mason and Father Michael Kelly

Father Michael Kelly

Father Michael Kelly has lived and worked for over fifty years in Zambia, becoming the Dean of the School of Education in the University of Zambia (UNZA) in 1975. He has dedicated his career to researching the impact of HIV and AIDS in Africa, particularly its impact on education, and has been to the forefront of research in his field. In recognition of his work, Professor Kelly was awarded an Honorary Degree from University College Dublin in 2006 and honoured by the Minister of State for Overseas Development Cooperation and Human Rights for his work on HIV and AIDS. Most recently, he received the Presidential Distinguished Service Award for the Irish Abroad.