SAN SIMON -- The local government here recently joined the nation in commemorating the International Aids Candlelight Memorial through a simple ceremony held at the municipal covered court.

Led by Mayor Leonora Wong, the ceremony aimed at remembering human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) victims, who have died from their sickness through a minute of candle lighting.

If left untreated, HIV can lead to Aids.

Wong said that the commemoration also aims to give hope and optimism amid the incurable diseases to persons, who are currently suffering from it.

She also expressed her hopes that the stigma on HIV-Aids patients will end as many healthcare services are already made available, citing the free HIV testing at several public hospitals in the province, such as Jose B. Lingad Regional Memorial Hospital.

Wong also urged Simonians to get tested and consult as early as now to be treated and avoid spreading the disease to family members, partners and people around their community.