ACNBA staff prepare to release red balloons into the sky to cap World AIDS Day in North Bay.
We marked World AIDS Day, December 1, 2012 at the Ferguson Block Parkette on Main Street in downtown North Bay. A gathering of about 20 people including our staff were on hand to participate in the event. North Bay Mayor, Al McDonald was on hand to read the official proclamation marking World AIDS Day in the Gateway City. We were going to release paper lanterns containing candles but the very cold and high winds swirling down Main Street made that too hazardous an option. So our plan B of releasing red balloons took place instead. The balloons represented those who had passed away from HIV/AIDS and a wish for a vaccine or cure. AIDS Educator, Dennis Chippa discussed the stigma still facing those infected or affected by HIV/AIDS and how it had greatly diminished over the years, yet still played a role in the public perception of the disease and people living with it.