12/01/2013 10:38 EST | Updated 01/31/2014 05:59 EST

Montreal marks 25th annual World AIDS Day

Dec. 1 is World AIDS Day, and Health and Social Services Minister Réjean Hébert is taking the opportunity to remind Quebecers of the importance of preventing HIV transmission.

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Despite the fact that the mortality rate from HIV and AIDS has gone down significantly in recent years thanks to major medical advancements, Hébert said it’s still essential to promote awareness, testing and prevention.

He also underlined the importance of funding research to find new methods of testing that are quicker and more effective.

Hébert added that earlier detection, with the help of proper medical treatment and close monitoring, greatly extends the life expectancy of people living with HIV and AIDS.

World AIDS Day has been commemorated on Dec. 1 since 1988.

Montreal World AIDS Day events

The Farha Foundation is inviting people to observe five minutes of silence, followed by five minutes of noise, on social media. Dec. 1 at noon.

In Montreal, several organizations are marking the day. Stella, AIDS Community Care Montreal and RÉZO, a support network for gay and bisexual men, are screening the films Common Threads and VIHsibilité. Dec. 1 at 2 p.m. at the ACCM offices (2075 Plessis Street).

A vigil is organized at the Park of Hope's AIDS memorial at the corner of Ste-Catherine St. East and Panet Street. Dec. 1 at 5 p.m.

Cabaret GL’AMOUR offers an evening of performances to celebrate the life and to commemorate the experience of people touched by HIV/AIDS. Dec. 1 at 7:30 p.m. at Café Cleopatra (1230 St-Laurent Boulevard).