Go red for World AIDS Day

Leading into World Aids Day (1 December) communities are encouraged to get involved in the Red Ribbon Appeal to raise funds and awareness for initiatives that help prevent HIV transmission, eliminate HIV stigma, and support people living with HIV.

Organised by ACON, NSW’s leading HIV health organisation, the Red Ribbon Appeal (which is held throughout November) is an annual fundraising campaign that supports community-led initiatives in HIV prevention, education, care and support.

“The Red Ribbon Appeal is ACON’s most iconic and longest-running fundraising campaign,” says ACON CEO Nicolas Parkhill, adding that every year thousands of people unite to get behind the awareness campaign.

World AIDS Day, as Mr Parkhill explains, provides communities with an important opportunity to come together to learn about HIV, reflect on how far we have come, remember those we have lost and stand in solidarity with people living with HIV.

“We have come a long way in NSW but there is still a long way to go,” says Mr Parkhill.

“Recent advances in HIV treatments and testing mean we can now achieve the virtual elimination of HIV transmission by getting people to test more, treat early and stay safe.

“But unfortunately, some attitudes haven’t changed. Stigma can have profound impacts on those living with HIV, and it can prevent others at risk from seeking resources and getting tested.

“This is why the Red Ribbon Appeal is so important as every contribution will help efforts to end HIV stigma, prevent new transmissions and support people living with HIV,” he says.

What your pharmacy can do

This year, supporters are encouraged to hold their events on Red Friday on Friday 25 November or World AIDS Day on Thursday 1 December.

By signing up on the Red Ribbon Appeal website, participants will get access to a range of resources and tools to help make their event a success.

People can also purchase merchandise online, order Red Ribbon business boxes or register their interest to volunteer.

People can also mark World AIDS Day virtually through ACON’s Virtual Red Ribbon Wall.

Those holding a virtual event can download free trivia quizzes, custom Zoom backgrounds and pre-recorded Red Ribbon video messages from the Red Ribbon Appeal website.

“Every year, we see more and more people and organisations get involved with the Red Ribbon Appeal by hosting events, activities or fundraisers in their local communities or at their workplace. We are grateful for your incredible support,” says Mr Parkhill.

“So we encourage everyone to join the Red Ribbon movement this year. Together, we can eliminate HIV stigma, end new HIV transmissions and support people living with HIV.”

For more information, visit: redribbonappeal.org.au

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