The countdown to World Aids Day has already begun, and South Africans are reminded to continue participating in Red Ribbon Fridays in the build up to 1 December.
Red Ribbon Fridays started on 10 November and should be sustained until 1 December on World Aids Day. This has also been encouraged by Cabinet, which said wearing a red ribbon is a symbol of solidarity and commitment to the fight against HIV and Aids.
World Aids Day is an opportunity for every community to unite in the fight against HIV, show support for people with HIV and remember those who have passed on.
This year’s World Aids Day theme is ‘Let Our Actions Count: It Is My Right to Know My Status, Prevention is My Responsibility’. This is to encourage citizens to make their actions count and take personal and collective responsibility to prevent new HIV infections.
“We have made significant progress in our efforts to respond to HIV, TB and STIs, but we have not done so well in protecting people from HIV infection. About 270 000 people became newly infected with HIV in 2016 alone,” the South African National Aids Council (Sanac) said.
Red Ribbon Friday
Red Ribbon Friday is a call to all South Africans to get behind World Aids Day and to put the prevention of HIV and TB back on the agenda.
Every Friday, Sanac encourages conversations among South Africans to respond to critical questions such as “what is your responsibility?”, “what can you do to prevent the spread of HIV and TB infections?”
Every Friday, all South Africans are encouraged to wear a red ribbon, take a picture and share it on social media using the hashtag #RedRibbonFriday, organise HIV testing services in their workplace and raise awareness about the prevention of HIV and TB.
What you can do for Red Ribbon Friday
- Wear a red ribbon to work, school or even at home every Friday. Take a picture, share it on your social platforms and say what you are doing to prevent HIV and TB.
- Challenge family, friends and colleagues to join the #RedRibbonFriday by wearing a red ribbon on Fridays.
- Use Fridays to organise HIV testing services at your workplace and in your community.
- Use the Fridays to host an HIV/TB awareness event or talk at your workplace, school and in your community.
- Always use the hash tags #RedRibbonFriday, #WAD2017 and #PreventionRevolution to make it trend.
- So, wear a red ribbon, tell your friends to wear one, tell your work colleagues to wear one, tell your children to wear one.
- Get interested. Get excited. Get talking about the Prevention Revolution.