Why a Red Ribbon
The red ribbon is the universal symbol of awareness and support for those living with HIV. The red ribbon has inspired other charities to utilize the symbol, for example breast cancer awareness has adopted a pink version. HIV and AIDS Red world over.
The red ribbon is internationally recognized as a symbol of the struggle around HIV/AIDS. It is a symbol of solidarity and a commitment to the fight against HIV/AIDS.
The Ribbon Project was formed in 1991 by Visual AIDS, a New York-based charity group of art professionals that aim to recognize and honor friends and colleagues who have died or are dying of AIDS. Visual AIDS encourages arts organizations, museums, commercial galleries, and AIDS support groups to commemorate those lost to AIDS, to create greater awareness of HIV/AIDS transmission, to publicize the needs of persons with AIDS and to call for greater funding of services and research. The color red was chosen for its ‘connection to blood and the idea of passion – not only anger, but love, like a valentine,’ says Frank Moore of Visual AIDS.
The red ribbon symbolizes:
Care and concern. It is being worn by increasing numbers of people around the world to demonstrate their care and concern about HIV and AIDS – for those who are living with HIV, for those who are ill, for those who have died and for those who care for and support people who are directly affected.
Hope. The red ribbon is intended to be a symbol of hope – that the search for a vaccine and cure to halt the suffering is successful and the quality of life improves for those living with the virus.
Support. The red ribbon offers symbolic support for those living with HIV, for the continuing education of those not infected, for maximum efforts to find effective treatments, cures or vaccines, and for those who have lost friends, family members or loved ones to AIDS.
But red ribbons are not enough.
The red ribbon is only a useful symbol in the long run when attached to words and deeds that actually make a difference. If you are offered a red ribbon, you are asked to take it and wear it as a:
- Tribute to the millions of people living with or affected by HIV and AIDS worldwide.
- way of saying that I will talk about HIV to my family and friends.
- way of convincing myself and loved ones that condoms save lives.
- way of convincing myself and loved ones that an HIV test is the only way to find out about one’s HIV status.
Anyone can wear a red ribbon. You don’t have to be HIV positive or living with AIDS to demonstrate that you have an understanding of the issues surrounding HIV and AIDS.
Wearing a red ribbon is the first step in the fight against HIV and AIDS. It can be worn on any day of the year, but especially on World AIDS Day. The next step is to do something more.
This information was adopted from: