The Red Scarf “Know HIV. No Stigma” campaign returns to Huron County on Dec. 2, 2019, this time in downtown Blyth.
The incredible advances in HIV/AIDS treatment, testing and prevention are still overshadowed by stigma around the subject. To help raise awareness and fight stigma, the Huron County Health Unit and volunteers hold a Red Scarf event every year on, or near, World AIDS Day Dec. 1.
Red Scarf is a movement that lets people know about the positive advances in HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention. Red Scarf also stands against stigma to improve the lives of those living with, affected by and at risk for HIV/AIDS in our community.
“Every three hours a person is diagnosed with HIV in Canada,” says Public Health Nurse Kate Underwood. “The stigma connected to HIV makes it hard for people living with HIV and their caregivers to live their lives.”
“At the same time, correct use of antiretroviral (ART) therapy and prevention strategies help people living with HIV to maintain an undetectable viral load. When HIV is undetectable, it is untransmittable.”
Huron County Health Unit staff will bring red scarves to Blyth on the morning of Monday, December 2. Starting at the town hall at 9 a.m., they will be placing scarves around the downtown area as part of a conversation about HIV/AIDS services and supports in Huron County. Anyone is welcome to take a scarf for themselves or pass it along to someone else.
The red scarves have been knitted by supportive, enthusiastic knitters from across Huron County, using red yarn donated by Regional HIV/AIDS Connection. Underwood said she is grateful for the wholehearted response from community members who have contacted the Health Unit by phone and through the Health Unit’s Facebook page.
Learn more about Red Scarf and local AIDS Awareness Week events at redscarf.ca. Learn more about HIV/AIDS and local services at hivaidsconnection.ca. Information on the Dec. 2 Blyth event available on the Huron County Health Unit Facebook page.