Communities across the World will on Tuesday host candlelight memorials to raise social consciousness around HIV and AIDS.

36-million people currently live with the illness globally while 7.1 million of them residing in South Africa.

CEO of the South African National Aids Council, Dr Sandile Buthelezi says the number of people living with HIV and AIDS is a ‘seriously worrying number’.

Experts say although the country has one of the largest domestically funded programmes to stop the epidemic, stigma and discrimination still remains one of the biggest challenges.

The movement was started 35 years ago.