Lighting up the library for World AIDS Day

Friday 1 December 2023

Image for World Aids DayThis evening the exterior facade of the Library of Birmingham will be lit up red in support of World Aids Day.

The World Aids Day website states:

World AIDS Day takes place on 1 December each year.

World AIDS Day is a global movement to unite people in the fight against HIV and AIDS. Since 1988, communities have stood together on World AIDS Day to show strength and solidarity against HIV stigma and to remember lives lost.

In the UK, more than 105,000 people are living with HIV. Globally, an estimated 38 million people live with the virus. More than 35 million people have died of HIV or AIDS related illnesses over the past 40 years, making it one of the most destructive pandemics in history.

Medical advances mean people with HIV in the UK can expect a long and healthy life and that we have the tools to stop HIV transmissions for good. But HIV continues to be highly stigmatised and misunderstood. At National AIDS Trust, the UK’s HIV rights charity, we are contacted weekly by people experiencing discrimination because of HIV, including in work, education, housing and even healthcare.

World AIDS Day exists to shine a light on the real experiences of people living with HIV today, while celebrating the strength, resilience and diversity of the communities most affected. It is a moment to inspire the leadership needed to create a future where HIV doesn’t stand in the way of anyone’s life.

The red ribbon is the universal symbol of awareness and support for people living with HIV. It was first devised in 1991, when twelve artists met to discuss a new project for Visual AIDS, a New York HIV-awareness arts organisation. It was there that they came up with what would become one of the most recognised symbols of the decade: the red ribbon, worn to signify awareness and support for people living with HIV. The artists wanted to create a visual expression of compassion for people living with HIV and chose red for its boldness, and for its symbolic associations with passion, the heart and love.

Article posted 1 December 2023

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