Saturday, 3 May 2014

The Red Ribbon

30 years after the first cases of HIV – the red ribbon is the universal symbol of awareness and support for those living with HIV. The red ribbon was the first ever ribbon symbol, inspiring later versions such as the pink ribbon for breast cancer awareness.

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.
The Red Ribbon Project was created by the New York-based Visual AIDS Artists Caucus in 1991.
  1. Remain anonymous as individuals and to credit the Visual AIDS Artists Caucus as a whole in the creation of the Red Ribbon Project, and not to list any individual as the creator of the Red Ribbon Project;
  2. Keep the image copyright free, so that no individual or organization would profit from the use of the red ribbon;
  3. The Red Ribbon should be used as a consciousness raising symbol, not as a commercial or trademark tool.
The artists who formed the Visual AIDS Artists Caucus wished to create a visual symbol to demonstrate compassion for people living with AIDS and their caregivers. Inspired by the yellow ribbons honoring American soldiers serving in the Gulf war, the color red was chosen for its, "connection to blood and the idea of passion -- not only anger, but love, like a valentine." First worn publicly by Jeremy Irons at the 1991 Tony Awards, the ribbon soon became renowned as an international symbol of AIDS awareness.
At the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert held at Wembley Stadium, London on Easter Sunday 1992, more than 100,000 red ribbons were distributed among the audience by Red Ribbon International, with performers such as George Michael wearing one. The Red Ribbon continues to be a powerful force in the fight to increase public awareness of HIV/AIDS and in the lobbying efforts to increase funding for AIDS services and research.

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.

To symbolize the United States' commitment to combat the world AIDS epidemic, President George W. Bush's administration began displaying a 28-foot AIDS Ribbon on the White House's iconic North Portico on World AIDS Day 2007. The display, now an annual tradition, quickly garnered attention, as it was the first banner, sign or symbol to prominently hang from the White House since Abraham Lincoln lived in the building.

A large red ribbon hangs between columns in the north portico of theWhite House for World AIDS Day, November 30, 2007.

World AIDS Day is about increasing awareness, fighting stigma, improving education, mobilising resources and raising funds to better our response to HIV and AIDS. 2.5 million people continue to be infected with HIV each year, with 2,400 young people newly infected every day. Raising awareness and knowledge of HIV is crucial to get these figures to zero. Join us on World AIDS Day 2013 and take part in the global HIV response. -
Amy Sadao is the executive director of Visual AIDS
"...The red ribbon has been copied. It's been historicized. It is honored as an icon of design and activism transcending language, recognized around the world. Its creators saw that it would never be copyrighted in the U.S., and they emphasized that it should never be made for sale or profit.
Still, it has also been commodified. We always hope any profits were used to benefit services for people living with HIV, or towards research for a vaccine, treatments, and a cure, or for effective prevention campaigns that emphasis harm reduction, treatment access, and universal health care.
I found a letter from June 21, 1991. Signed by Patrick, Tom, and Rodger on behalf of "The Ribbon Project," it explained that "by wearing the red ribbon we demonstrate compassion for people living with AIDS; support of the on-going efforts of their caretakers and service organizations; and advocacy for a coordinated response from our government for the research that will lead to effective treatments, vaccines, and ultimately, a cure."
The work of courageous people did lead to effective treatments. Twenty years later, my desire for all the other demands that wearing a ribbon once demonstrated remains. It must be our collective desire.
Beyond December 1, we must make HIV/AIDS a part of daily life and in doing so continue to extend safety, dignity, and compassion to all people living with HIV; to honor those we have lost; to work for a cure that can be shared worldwide; and to hold our governments accountable to the coordinated responses developed with community input. But my dreams of the red ribbon continue. It's certainly the iconic symbol of the AIDS crisis and now it even resides in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art.
But it is more than a museum piece, it was the first, and remains the most emblematic of all "disease awareness" ribbons.
Its ethos endures as it embodies the greatest of complexities in one elegant form.
As current social movements and activism seek visual embodiments of our varied messages, its spirit endures.
But for me, I still see red."

Other ribbons other meanings:

What is HIV/ AIDS
Human immunodeficiency virus infection / acquired immunodeficiency syndrome(HIV/AIDS) is a disease of the human immune system caused by infection with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). During the initial infection, a person may experience a brief period of influenza-like illness. This is typically followed by a prolonged period without symptoms. As the illness progresses, it interferes more and more with the immune system, making the person much more likely to get infections, including opportunistic infections andtumors that do not usually affect people who have working immune systems.
HIV is transmitted primarily via unprotected sexual intercourse (including anal and oral sex), contaminated blood transfusions, hypodermic needles, and from mother to child during pregnancy, delivery, or breastfeeding. Some bodily fluids, such as saliva and tears, do not transmit HIV. Prevention of HIV infection, primarily through safe sex and needle-exchange programs, is a key strategy to control the spread of the disease. There is no cure or vaccine; however, antiretroviral treatment can slow the course of the disease and may lead to a near-normal life expectancy. While antiretroviral treatment reduces the risk of death and complications from the disease, these medications are expensive and may be associated with side effects.
Genetic research indicates that HIV originated in west-central Africa during the late nineteenth or early twentieth century. AIDS was first recognized by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 1981 and its cause—HIV infection—was identified in the early part of the decade. Since its discovery, AIDS has caused an estimated 36 million deaths worldwide (as of 2012). As of 2012, approximately 35.3 million people are living with HIV globally. HIV/AIDS is considered a pandemic—a disease outbreak which is present over a large area and is actively spreading.
HIV/AIDS has had a great impact on society, both as an illness and as a source of discrimination. The disease also has significant economic impacts. There are many misconceptions about HIV/AIDS such as the belief that it can be transmitted by casual non-sexual contact. The disease has also become subject to many controversies involving religion. It has attracted international medical and political attention as well as large-scale funding since it was identified in the 1980s.

  • More than 35 million people now live with HIV/AIDS.
  • 3.3 million of them are under the age of 15.
  • In 2012, an estimated 2.3 million people were newly infected with HIV.
  • 260,000 were under the age of 15.
  • Every day nearly 6,300 people contract HIV—nearly 262 every hour.
  • In 2012, 1.6 million people died from AIDS.
  • 210,000 of them were under the age of 15.
  • Since the beginning of the epidemic, more than 75 million people have contracted HIV and nearly 36 million have died of HIV-related causes.

Scanning electron micrograph of HIV-1 budding (in green) from cultured lymphocyte. This image has been colored to highlight important features; see PHIL 1197 for original black and white view of this image. Multiple round bumps on cell surface represent sites of assembly and budding of visions.

Other design work in response to HIV/Aids...

However I didn't feel that I was completely with this idea, as I felt that it has been done a lot, and I didn't have any ideas either and so I referred back to my essay. 

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