According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are nearly 40,000 cases of HIV diagnosis every year in the U.S. However, due to mobilization, support, and awareness, this number decreases each year. Thanks to World AIDS Day that is celebrated every 1st December.
The red ribbon is a universal symbol used during these campaigns to shows awareness and support for everyone living with HIV. There are multiple ways to show support, and the importance of the red ribbon on World AIDS Day cannot go unnoticed. If you choose to wear a red ribbon on the campaign day, you impact society positively through the ways explained below.
Encourages people to get tested
Many people fear getting tested for HIV/AIDS, and the red ribbons campaigns tend to notify everyone on the benefits of being tested. Among the reasons for fear is you will feel desperate and stressed. Testing is aimed at diagnosing the disease and taking early measures to ensure you live a healthy life. People are encouraged to self-test or visit the nearest medical centers for free testing.
Campaigners share relevant information about HIV
Wearing the red ribbon means you are ready to commit to the awareness cause in every way that seems appropriate. The day is dedicated to sharing relevant and educative information to both the infected and affected. The information is shared publicly on the gatherings or through the internet. Since the beginning of World AIDS Day, social media has played a significant role in the campaigns.
Alleviates stigma associated with the condition
For many years now, some people living with the condition have secluded themselves from others. They no longer value life. Wearing a red ribbon sends a message of unity and togetherness for everyone with or without the disease. This enables the victims to appreciate who they are without subjecting themselves to unnecessary stress. Stigma is the major cause of other complications like depression in those affected.
It talks about the HIV/AIDS myths in society
Some people still believe in myths. Myths spread because people lack awareness. While embracing your red ribbon on World AIDS Day, you have a role in letting everyone know that myths are no longer part of society. Some of the myths about HIV is that you can tell if a person is infected by looking at them or those infected cannot have safe babies.
Teach people on the truth about the disease
There are some facts that you cannot ignore about HIV. Wearers of red ribbons pass the factual messages like HIV tests are reliable, you cannot confirm your status without a prior test, and there is no HIV/AIDS vaccine. Knowing the facts is the first step towards accepting your state and commencing medication without delay.
Create awareness on the need for ARVs and proper diet
Red ribbon awareness is not complete without notifying the public on the need to stay healthy. The disease tends to compromise the victim’s health and immunity. When you have the virus, your body becomes opportunistic to multiple diseases, and this compromises your health. Such moments call for ARV medication and a proper diet that will help you avoid virus replication while boosting your immunity. The use of the red ribbon in the World AIDS Day campaigns is a clear indication that HIV/AIDS is not a death sentence. With the right information, sensitization, and taking the recommended actions, those newly infected or living with the condition can live a normal and comfortable life.