International Candlelight Memorial Day ceremonies took place yesterday at the Apostolical Holiness Church in Daveyton, Ekurhuleni, headed by Pastor Johannes Thulare.
Attended by caregivers and those with HIV, the theme at the packed event was "Never Give Up. Never Forget".
Margaret Maxam, a nursing sister at the Tambo Memorial Hospital, started the proceedings by lighting a candle in memory of those who have died of HIV-Aids over the years.
The emotional ceremony was punctuated by tears from the families and friends of those who have died.
Maxam said that many of those who died lacked knowledge and proper counselling about HIV-Aids.
She added that others might have died because they were poorly managed or taken care of during their illness.
Five other candles were lit in memory of those from the church who had died; for caregivers; families of the afflicted; abused women and children and for those with HIV-Aids to accept their plight and also that others might accept them without any prejudice.
Maxam reminded the congregation that discriminating against people with HIV worsened their situation.
"We cannot deny the fact that HIV-Aids exists and has no cure.
"We must also remember that it puts financial stress on families of the affected," she said.