A lot has changed since the first World AIDS Day in 1988. The advancement of antiretroviral treatment has stopped millions of people from dying of AIDS. Matched with that, the discovery and widespread uptake of PrEP has prevented an equally large number of people from contracting HIV in the first place.
However, the fight against the virus is far from over, especially in parts of the world with unequal access to healthcare. Though people living with HIV can now live long and healthy lives, many still face HIV stigma and discrimination. This is why it’s important to mark World AIDS Day, which always falls on 1st December each year.
One simple way to do this is to wear the red ribbon on your clothes. This small symbol acts as a gesture of remembrance for all those lost to AIDS over the past four decades and counting, as well as a show of support to all those currently living with HIV. It can also spark discussion among those not-so-clued- up on HIV and AIDS and raise awareness of the current challenges.
You can buy red ribbons or brooches from the National AIDS Trust’s online shop, donate online, or go one step further and help raise funds for the organisation’s work in advocating for the rights of people living with HIV and preventing new transmissions.
All you have to do is order a free pack of 100 fabric red ribbons and you’ll receive these in the post along with a display and collection box. Although World AIDS Day is on 1st December, you can do this at any time of the year. You can sell these to friends, family, colleagues, customers and whoever is kind enough to drop a few coins your way, before sending the fruits of your hard work back to the offices of the National AIDS Trust.
However you choose to get involved, don’t forget to #RockTheRibbon this December.