World AIDS Day December 1 Information
The Australian AIDS Memorial Quilt Official site of the Australian World AIDS Day quilt
World AIDS Day is celebrated on December 1 each year around the world. It has become one of the most recognised international health days and a key opportunity to raise awareness, commemorate those who have passed on, and celebrate victories such as increased access to treatment and prevention services.
UNAIDS took the lead on World AIDS Day campaigning from its creation until 2004. From 2004 onwards the World AIDS Campaign's Global Steering Committee began selecting a theme for World AIDS Day in consultation with civil society, organisations and government agencies involved in the AIDS response.
Themes run for one or two years and are not just specific to World AIDS Day. Campaigning slogans such as 'Stop AIDS. Keep the Promise' have been used year round to hold governments accountable for their HIV and AIDS related commitments.
Informed by those most affected by HIV, the World AIDS Campaign's goal is to ensure that governments and policy makers meet the HIV targets they set, the commitments they made, and mobilise the necessary resources for a world where people do not die of AIDS and opportunistic infections like TB. At the heart of the global commitment is the publicly stated ambition of Universal Access by 2010 - enabling everyone to have non-discriminatory and non-judgmental access to adequate HIV prevention, treatment, care and support.
THE MEANING OF THE RED RIBBON FOR WORLD AIDS DAY
»The Red Ribbon is the global symbol for solidarity with HIV positive and people living with AIDS and it unites the people in the common fight against this disease.«
If you focus on the meaning of the color Red in addition to the symbol of the ribbon, it is easier to explain why wearing the Red Ribbon is more than just showing sympathy with those affected:
The Red Ribbon is ...
- red like love, as a symbol of passion and tolerance towards those affected.
- red like blood, representing the pain caused by the many people that died of AIDS.
- red like the anger about the helplessness by which we are facing a disease for which there is still no chance for a cure.
- red as a sign of warning not to carelessly ignore one of the biggest problems of our time.
The red ribbon has become an internationally recognized symbol for AIDS awareness, worn by people throughout the year in support of people living with HIV and in remembrance of those who have died. On 1 December this year, people around the world will be pinning on their red ribbons as they commemorate World AIDS Day. But where did the ribbon come from?
In 1988, a group called Visual AIDS was founded by arts professionals as a response to the effects of AIDS on the arts community and as a way of organizing artists, arts institutions, and arts audiences towards direct action on AIDS.
Three years later, in 1991, some of the Visual AIDS artists came together to design a visual symbol to demonstrate compassion for people living with HIV and their care givers. Inspired by the yellow ribbons honoring American soldiers serving in the Gulf war, the artists chose to create a red ribbon to symbolize support and solidarity for people living with HIV and to remember those who have died from AIDS-related illnesses. The color red was chosen for its, "connection to blood and the idea of passion -- not only anger, but love, like a valentine," the Project founders say. The project was to become known as the Red Ribbon Project.
In a spontaneous campaign in 1991, Red Ribbon Project volunteers sent letters and red ribbons to all attendees at the Tony Awards in the United States where actor Jeremy Irons stepped out on national television with a red ribbon pinned prominently on his lapel.
The symbol came to Europe on a mass scale on Easter Monday in 1992, when more than 100,000 red ribbons were distributed during the Freddie Mercury AIDS Awareness Tribute Concert at Wembley stadium. More than one billion people in more than 70 countries worldwide watched the show on television. Throughout the nineties many celebrities wore red ribbons, encouraged by Princess Diana's high profile support for AIDS.
"The fact that it was so widely imitated was amazing. We couldn't believe it," said Allan Frame, one of the Visual AIDS artists involved in the creation of the red ribbon symbol.
Today the Red Ribbon has become an international symbol of solidarity and support for people living with HIV. Wearing a red ribbon is a simple and powerful way to challenge the stigma and prejudice surrounding AIDS. Wear yours with pride this World AIDS Day.
ACON World AIDS Display, Old Court House, Wollongong 1 December, 2005
WORLD AIDS DAY IMAGES AND MESSAGES
AIDS AWARENESS WEEK
National Art Gallery, Canberra
Captain Cook Water Jet, Canberra
National Library, Canberra