For this years World AIDS Day, the Budapest’s Chain Bridge turned red. It is a tradition that the bridge receives special illumination on socially relevant memorial days. The Széchenyi Chain Bridge was illuminated for the first time on 1 December 2019 in connection with World AIDS Day in the color of the red ribbon that became the symbol of the fight against AIDS.

The unique event was organized by and Humen Media to raise awareness to the importance of regular HIV testing and safe sex as well as acceptance of people living with HIV. In addition to the illumination, they also held a march across the bridge.

The organizers said: “Concluding the European Testing Week, this symbolic move took place for the first time in Hungary and we hope to be able to remember this way every year from now on.”

HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) has been present in Hungary for more than 30 years. Since 1985, 3,965 people living with HIV have tested positive. The disease is now treatable, but that requires an early diagnosis – many people arrive to the doctor late and have AIDS by then. According to data available since 1985, a total of 1,040 AIDS patients have been diagnosed in Hungary, of whom 415 have passed away since. Last year, 222 new HIV-infected patients were diagnosed, 57 of whom had already developed AIDS. That is why doctors, experts, and HIV activists alike emphasize that regular testing is extremely important, but the willingness to do so is unfortunately very low at the moment.



The anniversary of Freddie Mercury’s death


Many participated in the walk and shared images on social media. In addition to the walk, several events and flash mobs were held on World AIDS Day in Budapest. Plus: another related commemoration a week earlier. On 24 November, the anniversary of Freddie Mercury’s death, a couple of Queen fans set up a small memorial on the promenade along the Danube river in front of the hotel where Freddie was staying at the time of his memorable concert in Budapest. Fans strive to keep the memory of one of the most well-known victims of AIDS alive and to keep the candles burning.



Our Gay Travel Index provides information on countries which are particularly LGBT- travel friendly – and those which are not or even very dangerous. In 2019, Hungary ranked 57th among other countries, including Greece and India.

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  • 06: Photo: Dániel Török / Humen Media Hungary
  • 01: Photo: Dániel Török / Humen Media Hungary
  • 04: Photo: Dániel Török / Humen Media Hungary
  • 05: Photo: Dániel Török / Humen Media Hungary

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