Awareness Ribbons Red Ribbon

Meaning of Red Ribbon: What It Is All About

red ribbon on the tree
Written by Dawn Herrera

Many people have a particular cause the moment they choose to wear a Red Ribbon. Internationally, the red ribbon is one of the most recognized symbols that is mainly meant to raise awareness and express heartily support for HIV/AIDS patients. The ribbon choice came into use in 1991 as a result of shared ideas from organizations that aimed to express the need for care, hope, and compassion.

HIV/AIDS Awareness

As the introduction had indicated, red ribbons have global recognition for HIV and AIDS awareness. The World AIDS Day campaigns are designated on 1st December annually. Due to previous awareness, many people now accept the fact that both the affected and infected individuals need attention.

From the awareness, the people change their view of the disease while victims receive care, concern, hope, and support in various ways. However, you need to know that the ribbons are not enough without action. You need to show involvement by your deeds. Everyone irrespective of who you are can make their red ribbon and wear during the awareness.

Addiction and Substance Abuse Awareness

As part of the D.A.R.E (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) program campaigns to make America a drug free zone, the Red Ribbon Week embraces the red ribbon as a sign of commitment. The program is major drug awareness campaign that was born after the death of Drug Enforcement Agent, Enrique Camarena.

The awareness happens annually from October 23 to 31. Each year, there is a theme to promote the campaigns. Drug abuse is one of the nation’s pressing issues with many death-related cases, and red ribbons have played a significant role as part of the awareness.

Drunk Driving Awareness

A red ribbon is a sign of drunk and drugged driving awareness. Initiated by the Mothers Against Drunk Driving in 1986, the campaign continues to use red ribbons, and it is among the longest and active group fighting against drunk driving. The ribbons are now used globally for the same cause.

During the campaigns, all the motorists are advised to wear a red ribbon or tie them around the visible areas of the vehicles as a sign of commitment to drive safely. The move also encourages others to drive soberly.

Symbol of Heart Issues

Several people suffer from heart-related diseases. As a way to create awareness about the heart issues, show some love, support, and notify the general public about the need to have frequent checkups in case of specific symptoms, a red ribbon is used.

Although people have various days to campaign based on their intention, World Heart Day usually takes place on 29th September every year. Among the heart diseases that utilize the red ribbon include congenital heart failure, congestive heart failure, heart defects, cardiomyopathy, and other cardiovascular diseases.

Burn Awareness

The majority of the fire linked injuries are burns. According to the American Burns Association, there is a possibility of a burn every 60 seconds in the U.S. That shows how awareness is vital. During the Burn Awareness Week, that is observed first every week of February, those involved grace the day with red ribbons.

Blood Cancer and Disorders

Many individuals continue to suffer from cancer, with the numbers increasing over the years. With different types of cancer, the red ribbon creates awareness on different forms of blood-related cancers such as multiple myeloma, lymphoma, leukemia, and myelodysplastic syndromes.

Individuals in the various states, and beyond the world wear red ribbons and wristbands as a sign of blood cancer and other blood disorders like anemia awareness. The awareness month is every September.


Red is the awareness color for Tuberculosis, and that’s how the red ribbons come into play. Tuberculosis is now a preventable and curable disease, and there are still people out there who are struggling to find medication. The red ribbon campaigns aim to inform the public on treatment options, preventive measures, misdiagnosis, and any other relevant details.

Other campaigns that feature the red ribbon include:

  • Disaster Relief
  • Poland and Marfan syndrome
  • Sinus Tachycardia
  • Support Troops
  • Human Trafficking

For many years now, people have been using red ribbons, and the results continue to impact society positively. The crucial thing is to have the right choice of colors in your campaigns. A wrong choice of ribbon will alter the meaning of your awareness campaigns. Now that you know the particular causes that require red ribbons go ahead and impact the society positively.

About the author

Dawn Herrera

Dawn is an extremely passionate ribbon designer and blogger. She's written hoards of articles on the importance of using ribbons to raise the awareness of deadly diseases all around us.