Annual Human Chain Awareness event remembers those lost to HIV/AIDS

Hampden County

It’s been nearly 30 years since the first human chain of mourning took place at the Veterans Monument in Springfield’s Mason Square.

Family and friends joined hands to remember loved ones who were lost to HIV and AIDS.

Pauline Wilcox-Arnum-Norwood comes every year for her two sons who died from HIV/AIDS. She carries a message of awareness to parents. “To thine own self be true. Tell the truth about things. Find out about things, read the books.”

Most participants in the human chain carried a sign of remembrance. A friend, or a relative who died from HIV/AIDS. But Friday’s mourning was tempered with hope that one day the disease can be eradicated in Springfield, where an estimated 2,000 men and women are currently at risk.

New North Citizen’s Council educator Richard Johnson told 22News, “It’s impossible if we don’t use the tools at our disposal. That being prevention methodology as well as medication, and understanding this a 100-percent preventable disease.”

As the advocates who form the human chain approach their 30th year, they’re hoping through education and testing, new cases of HIV/AIDS will soon decrease to zero.

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