Modern HIV treatments keep the disease out of the news for the most part. After all, regular treatment reduces the risk of transmission, and many patients have “undetectable” amounts of the diseases in their system. However, in Montreal’s Village district, called The Village, home to many gay and bisexual males, HIV news is still a prevalent concern.

One thing that sets the Village apart from the rest of the city is the presence of many more community groups and care facilities. On December 1st of each year, World AIDS Day, there is a vigil held in the Park of Hope. In the Chapel of Hope, a flame perpetually burns to remember AIDS victims, and this location is well known locally as a place for contemplation. Another supporter of AIDs victims is the FARHA Foundation, which has a walk each year in late September. This too mainly takes place in the Village. Outside of the Village, there are no public events related to AIDS.

Clearly, HIV and AIDS have had an impact on the lives of those living in this part of the city beyond what is mentioned in the news anymore. While HIV is not something most people think about on a day-to-day basis, it is truly a part of the daily life in the gay community of Montreal. Murals in neighborhood parks reflect local hopes for the AIDS scourge to be, one day, a thing of the past.

In the meantime, the LGBT community sees recent cinematic depictions as a way to collectively remember the community’s long fight against AIDS. There is a big difference, however, between nostalgia and current efforts. After all, what is depicted in movies does not often reflect real life challenges faced in such communities. And HIV news is still a growing concern in places like Montreal’s The Village district, which is why it plays such a large social role for the AIDS community.