Today is World AIDS day.
World AIDS Day is held on the 1st December each year and is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, show their support for people living with HIV and to commemorate people who have died.
The theme for this year is “Know Your Status “This theme encourages everyone to know their HIV status through testing. Its estimated that 9.4 million people living with HIV still do not know their status (UNAIDS 2018)
This will also be an occasion to celebrate the 30th anniversary of World AIDS Day – a pioneering global health campaign first initiated by WHO in 1988.
One of the symbols always seen on such day is the Red ribbon.
But where did the idea of the red ribbon come from?
In 1991, a decade after the emergence of HIV, twelve artists gathered in a gallery in New york’s east village. They had met to discuss a new project for visual Aids, a New York HIV – awareness arts organization.
It was there that they came up with what would become one of the most recognized symbols of the decade. The red ribbon, won to signify awareness and support for people living with HIV.
They took inspiration from the yellow ribbons tied on trees to show support for the US military fighting in the Gulf war. additionally , they decided that the elegant loop of the ribbon shape was easy to make and replicate. They avoided traditional colours associated with the gay community such as pink and rainbow stripes , because they wanted to convey that HIV was relevant to every one.
They chose red for its boldness , and for its symbolic associations with passion.