Home Medical News World AIDS Day 2022: Find out why ‘Red Ribbon’ is used as a symbol for AIDS awareness

World AIDS Day 2022: Find out why ‘Red Ribbon’ is used as a symbol for AIDS awareness

by Vaishali Sharma

World Aids Day is observed annually on December 1 to promote awareness of the signs, causes, and prevention measures of HIV/AIDS, which has resulted in an unprecedented number of fatalities.

Perhaps the most well-known sign of AIDS awareness throughout the world is the red ribbon, which is worn by individuals all year in memory of those who have passed away from the disease. Understanding why a red ribbon was selected for this use is pretty fascinating. While some believe it is used to symbolise love for everyone who has HIV-positive results, others think it is meant to convey the powerlessness of those who are suffering. Red is the most appropriate colour because it is primarily transmitted through blood.

However, the history of this symbol starts from the year 1988, when as a reaction to the consequences of AIDS on the arts community and as a means of mobilizing artists, arts institutions, and arts audiences towards direct action on AIDS, art professionals created a group called Visual AIDS.

Some of these Visual AIDS artists came together three years later, in 1991, to design a visual symbol to demonstrate compassion for people living with HIV and their caregivers.

After being inspired by the yellow ribbons worn by American soldiers participating in the Gulf War, the artists decided to make a red ribbon to represent support and solidarity for those living with HIV and to remember those who have died from AIDS-related illnesses.

According to the website of UNAIDS, a Switzerland-based non-government organization, the reason for choosing the color red was its, “connection to blood and the idea of passion — not only anger, but love, like a valentine,” the Project founders said. The project was to become known as the Red Ribbon Project.

The Red Ribbon Project volunteers banded together that year to send letters and red ribbons to every Tony Awards attendee in the USA. It was here that actor Jeremy Irons was seen as a red ribbon pinned on his lapel on national television.

On Easter Monday in 1992, during the Freddie Mercury AIDS Awareness Tribute Concert at Wembley Stadium, more than 100,000 red ribbons were distributed, ushering in the symbol’s mass introduction to Europe.

More than one billion individuals in more than 70 different countries watched the television broadcast. In the 1990s, a lot of famous people wore red ribbons as a result of Princess Diana’s well-known AIDS activism.

A quick and effective way to fight the stigma and discrimination related to AIDS is to wear a red ribbon. As a result, the Red Ribbon has come to represent the world’s solidarity with and support for those who are HIV positive.

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