Thousands congregated in Melbourne’s Federation Square yesterday to pay tribute to those who have lost their lives to HIV/AIDS, as part of the 20th International AIDS Conference.

A sea of candles lighted Federation Square on Tuesday evening, as live musical entertainment and speeches were presented at the traditional candle light vigil.

The purpose of the vigil held at the International AIDS Conference, which occurs every two years, is to commemorate the over 35 million lives of those who have died as a result of HIV or AIDS-related causes.

As well as celebrate scientific and medical advances, policy successes and communities that have come together in the struggle against HIV and AIDS.

The vigil also highlights and acknowledges how much progress still needs to be made in the fight against HIV and AIDS.

On Sunday delegates at the conference paid tribute to the AIDS activists and researchers who died onboard the flight MH17, when it was shot down over eastern Ukraine.

Thanks to the Star Observer for providing coverage of AIDS 2014.