WORLD AIDS DAY RED RIBBON, WORLD’S FAMOUS SYMBOL
Yellow ribbon reminds us of Corazon Aquino, purple for Reproductive Health bill advocates, pink for Breast Cancer Awareness, green for environmental campaigns, and for WORLD AIDS DAY, the red ribbon has become the symbol of HIV and AIDS awareness, a symbol of commemoration, compassion and support.
The red ribbon is the inspiration of campaigns that transpired around the world.
Six years after specialists discovered the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) in 1981, the information spread around the globe and brought horror and discrimination among people living with HIV. Due to the adverse effect of HIV to the society, the WORLD AIDS DAY transpired in August 1987 through the leadership of James Bunn and Thomas Netter; public information officers of Global Programme on AIDS at World Health Organization in Geneva Switzerland.
Year 1991, the “red ribbon” was created by the Visual AIDS Artists Caucus, a group of artists in New York, to help increase the level of awareness of HIV/AIDS. Later on, the “red ribbon” is worn or used to signify love, support, acceptance and genteel care for people with HIV/AIDS. The symbol became popular around the globe.
In Olongapo City’s commemoration of WAD on December 1, schools, business establishments, government agencies and residents will display red ribbons in front of their facades as their contribution and support. Public orientations are intensified, together with the counseling and check-up at the Treatment Hub and medication for patients.
A solemn Candle Lighting Ceremony will be held at the Rizal Memorial Ground. Medical assistance to STI (Sexually Transmitted Infection) patients will be provided and conduct of symposium for different sectors of the community.
Olongapo City recently established the HIV/AIDS Treatment Hub at James L. Gordon Memorial Hospital to intensify its campaign. The facility was second to the Jose P. Lingad Treatment Hub, San Fernando, Pampanga in whole Central Luzon.
The program started for people living with AIDS in 1986 through the initiative of then-mayor Richard J. Gordon and hard work of PREDA Foundation. Later on, the Olongapo City AIDS Council (OCAC) and HIV/AIDS Core Team (HACT) were established to help with the UNFPA (United Nations Populations Fund) in upholding the city government’s program.
“Olongapo is like a phoenix that rose from the ashes of its old image; plagued with disgust and discrimination, but now, a multi-awarded city because of its administration’s unrelenting crusade to uplift the lives of its constituents,” said Dr. Arnildo Tamayo, OCAC Co-Chairman, at the recent meeting of the council for the upcoming WAD.
“Ang World AIDS Day ay nagsisilbing paalala para sa lahat na kailangang magkaroon tayo ng malinis at ligtas na ‘lifestyle’ at kailangan din ng mga may AIDS at HIV ang ating tulong, pag-unawa at pagkalinga,” remarked Olongapo Mayor James “Bong” Gordon Jr., who is also the Chairman of OCAC.
“Huwag kayong matakot; kung kayo ay may pagdududa, magpatingin agad at pahalagahan ang inyong kalusugan at ang mga mahal ninyo sa buhay,” reminded Olongapo First Lady Anne Gordon, who assist Mayor Gordon in supervision of the necessary social services of the city.
She ensures the local government of Olongapo is ready to provide support and assistance.