World AIDS day: 25th anniversary of red ribbon and the awareness programmes
Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) continues to affect many people both physiologically and psychologically. Due to the stigma attached to the disease, even today, most people who have been tested HIV positive tend to turn reclusive or repudiate themselves from the social life.
Experts, activists and medical associations assert those people with the disease should not give up hope and live like others, and one of the symbols used for to convey this is red ribbon.
In 1991, New York-based Visual Aids Artists Caucus launched the Red Ribbon project and made the image copyrights-free. This year marks the 25th anniversary of red ribbon which is considered as a call for compassion and care among people tested HIV positive and people suffering from AIDS, and also among their loved ones.
The idea for Red Ribbon project was inspired by yellow ribbons that were used for paying tributes to soldiers who fought in the Gulf war.The choice of colour read was to represent compassion and love and associated mostly with blood.
The choice of colour read was to represent compassion and love and associated mostly with blood. Creators were also contemplating on the colours of pink and rainbow stripes before deciding the colour red. But going by the fact that both these colours were associated with LGBTQ community, they later chose red to avoid further stigma.
Due to the simplicity of the loop created from a ribbon- anyone can make a loop from a small piece of red ribbon- the shape of the loop was decided.
Actor Jeremy John Irons was known to sport the ribbon for the first time in public while hosting the Tony Awards in 1991.
From there on, the symbol came to be known to be associated with HIV and AIDS and its awareness programmes.
- World AIDS day