Torremolinos participated in events commemorating Worlds Aids Day last Friday.
Organised by the Torremolinos town hall and several local LGBTI groups, a programme of informative, educational and recreational activities were staged at different locations in the town.
World Aids Day, commemorated on 1 December every year since 1988, is dedicated to raising awareness of the pandemic caused by the spread of HIV infection, and mourning those who have died of the disease.
In 2016, Torremolinos joined the Paris Declaration, a platform aimed at the prevention, detection and early treatment of the illness with the ultimate goal of eradication by the year 2030. Torremolinos became the fifth city of Spain, behind Seville, Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia, to join the initiative.
This year's events began with a meeting held outside the town hall, when the mayor of Torremolinos, José Ortiz, and several members of his council participated in the deployment of a huge red ribbon formed by 20 umbrellas.
The red ribbon is the global symbol for solidarity with people infected with HIV and those living with Aids.
Following the presentation in Plaza Blas Infante, the emphasis shifted to the town centre, where the Spanish Confederation of LGBTI (Colega) manned an informative stand offering HIV tests and advice about protection from sexually transmitted diseases as well as free condoms.
Other activities included a special World Aids Day gala that was held in the Pablo Ruiz Picasso Cultural Centre. The show, which was attended by the councillor for equality, Aida Blanes, presented the LGBTI Polyphonic Choir of Torremolinos, the only one of its kind in Andalucía.
The grand finale was held in the bar Eden in La Nogalera on Friday night, where a benefit drag show was staged by some of the town's top entertainers. The show was put on to raise money for Apoyo Positivo, a Malaga-based association that offers advice and assistance to those infected with HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.
There has been a significant reduction in HIV diagnoses for gay men due to frequent testing, rapid treatment and PrEP, a medicine that lowers the chance of infection and stops HIV from taking hold and spreading throughout the body.
For help and advice about sexually transmitted diseases, contact firstname.lastname@example.org