Voices of Hope concert for World AIDS Day December 1:

With 1 in 120 adult Torontonians HIV-positive, Casey House report shines light on ongoing HIV/AIDS crisis

TORONTO, Nov. 25, 2011 /CNW/ - On Thursday, December 1 (World AIDS Day), Casey House will host "Voices of Hope," one of three national concerts calling for increased awareness of the ongoing crisis of HIV/AIDS around the world and in Canada. This Monday, Casey House will launch a report on the current realities of HIV/AIDS in Toronto, where it is estimated 1 in 120 adults now live with HIV.

WHAT: Casey House's "Voices of Hope" concert for World AIDS Day
WHEN: Thursday, December 1, 2011
WHERE: Metropolitan United Church, 56 Queen St. E (at Church St.)
TIME: Doors open 6:30 pm, with concert 7 pm - 8:30 pm, followed by outdoor candle ceremony
COST: FREE, with $20 suggested donation to Casey House 
INFO: www.caseyhouse.com 

The bell tower of Metropolitan United Church will be illuminated by a large red AIDS ribbon light. One of Canada's largest carillons will ring out in song, urging Torontonians to join us in remembering the millions of lives lost to HIV/AIDS, and to demonstrate support for the many who continue to struggle with the disease around the world and right here in Toronto.

Today, one in 120 adult Torontonians is HIV-positive. Alarmingly, more than a quarter of newly-infected individuals in Toronto are under the age of 30, facing decades of treatment for what has become a highly challenging chronic illness. A recent Ipsos Reid survey conducted for Casey House confirmed that despite ongoing stigma associated with the disease, nine out of 10 Ontarians agree that society has a "moral obligation" to provide compassionate treatment for people living with HIV. Responding to this growing need, Casey House recently announced plans to more than double its capacity to provide health care. A report outlining the current realities of HIV/AIDS in Toronto will be released on Monday, November 28 for World AIDS Week.

Presented by MˑAˑC AIDS Fund and hosted by CBC Radio 2's Tom Allen with Rev. Dr. John Joseph Mastandrea, "Voices of Hope" will feature musical performances by celebrated electric violinist Dr. Draw, international recording artist Prita Chhabra, Toronto choral ensembles The Velvet Curtain and Singing Out!, drag performer Christian Jeffries, Jarvis Collegiate Senior Vocal Ensemble, The Metropolitan Choir and pianist David Warrack.

Quilts created in memory of the people who have passed away at Casey House since its 1988 founding will drape the church interior, as will an exhibit of dream catchers created by current clients of Casey House. After the concert, attendees are encouraged to linger for a candlelight carillon concert and hot cider in the courtyard.

Launched in 2008 by Toronto's Casey House in collaboration with Dr. Peter AIDS Foundation (Vancouver) and La Maison du Parc (Montréal), "Voices of Hope / Voix D'Espoir" is a trio of nationally collaborative concerts honouring lives lost to AIDS, and calling for increased support and dignity for all people who experience ongoing stigma and marginalization because of their disease. 

ABOUT CASEY HOUSE: Founded in 1988, Casey House was the first freestanding HIV/AIDS facility in Canada. Today we are a specialty HIV/AIDS hospital offering home care and outreach programs. Our commitment is to provide compassionate, exemplary health care to people living with and affected by HIV/AIDS, in collaboration with our communities. www.caseyhouse.com

NATIONAL PRESENTING SPONSOR: MˑAˑC AIDS Fund  | NATIONAL SPONSORS: Gilead Sciences Canada, ViiV Healthcare Shire Canada, TELUS, Franklin Templeton Investments, Bristol-Myers Squibb Canada  |  LOCAL SPONSORS: Winners, The New Classical 96.3 FM, 103.9 PROUD-FM

SOURCE Casey House Foundation

For further information:

Kathleen Sandusky, Communications Specialist, Casey House 
416-894-0238 (cell) / ksandusky@caseyhouse.on.ca

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