The annual AIDS candlelight vigil in southern Illinois is coming up this weekend.
The guest speaker is Reverend John Holst, pastor of Marion Zion United Church of Christ. He says his message will be about continued compassion, because it seems as if the public has forgotten about how many people suffer from this life-changing disease.
"Statistics will tell you the number of AIDS cases, meaning new AIDS cases, has not gone down in the state of Illinois, especially southern Illinois, which is what we're talking about. But, it has gotten quiet I think because we have prominent figures in our society, Magic Johnson for example, who is living with HIV and we think that everyone is doing well."
But, Holst says there are plenty of HIV patients who are not doing well.
A collection will be taken at the vigil to help the Southern Illinois AIDS Coalition purchase grocery store gift cards for low-income families impacted by HIV-AIDS.
The vigil starts at 6 p.m. Sunday, April 30 at the Church of the Good Shepherd United Church of Christ in Carbondale.