What is a red ribbon?
The red ribbon has been a symbol of awareness and support for people living with HIV for more than 30 years.
In 1991, a group of artists in New York created it as part of an HIV-awareness arts project. At the time there was great stigma around HIV. The artists wanted a way for people to show compassion publicly and visually.
They chose red to symbolise:
- the heart
Red ribbons have become a highly recognisable symbol for HIV and AIDS awareness.
Why red ribbons are important
Buying red ribbons raises money for HIV:
Wearing red ribbons shows support for people living with HIV and honours the lives lost over the past 40 years.
Learn more about how World AIDS Day helps.
When to buy one
You can buy a red ribbon:
- all year round online from some of our partner organisations
- at some World AIDS Day community events.
You can even buy a virtual red ribbon if you prefer.
Many organisations give out red ribbons free to participants at World AIDS Day events.
When to wear one
You can wear your ribbon on or in the lead up to World AIDS Day. Of course, you can wear it anytime you want to raise awareness of HIV and show support for people living with it.
Other ways to get involved
You can also get involved in World AIDS by: