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Amsterdam, 2 December 2019


Yesterday, on World AIDS Day, a unique statue is unveiled on Beursplein, Amsterdam. The statue, conceived by creative agency N=5, cries in real time for the devastating rhythm of the AIDS epidemic. One tear for every death, every 40 seconds. This makes the hard numbers emotionally palpable and tangible. The bright pink photogenic statue is in a basin filled with 32 million tears. The 32 million fatalities since the start of the AIDS epidemic.


While reading this press release, someone else, somewhere in the world, has died of AIDS. The next one will die in about 40 seconds. There are still 770,000 people worldwide dying of AIDS every year. Real people are hidden behind that abstract number, with real lives and real loves. Mark Vermeulen, Director of Aidsfonds: "We have achieved a lot worldwide, but still 14 million people with HIV have no access to life-saving medicines. Young women and children are the most hard hit. This is unknown to many people in the Netherlands. It is essential to be aware that AIDS still causes completely unnecessary fatalities."


Special technology

The idea is from Stefan Leendertse and Carsten van Berkel, a creative team at N=5: “Cities are full of static statues. We know that. The statue of this young woman gets the magic and impact we are looking for, by adding this invisible technique, a tear that symbolizes the real-time statistics.” AIDS is still the number one killer amongst women younger than 50. That's why the makers opted for a statue of a young woman.


After the unveiling of the statue, the Aidsfonds will start an online content campaign in which people who have lost a loved one to AIDS tell the personal stories behind the tears. The statue can be visited until 6 December on Beursplein in Amsterdam.

Stop the tears. Stop AIDS. Out of love for all loves.

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