Put a red ribbon on it!
Arlington County Public Health is asking you to “put a red ribbon on it” this November in the lead-up to World AIDS Day on Dec. 1. We’d like you to put a red ribbon, the international symbol of HIV/AIDS awareness, on your favorite item: a cupcake, your car, your cat or dog, and send us your photo! Don’t be afraid to get creative.
To submit your red ribbon photos:
Get Tested and Know Your HIV Status
More than 1.1 million people living in the United States have the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), and it is estimated that 33% of them do not know that they are infected. Each year, about 900 new cases of HIV are diagnosed in Virginia.
- Currently, about 25,000 Virginians are living with HIV disease.
- In Arlington, 1,441 residents are living with HIV/AIDS and 981 have died from the disease since 1982.
Most people who are diagnosed with HIV and receive ongoing treatment are able to lead long, healthy and successful lives. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), HIV testing is the foundation for effective prevention and care efforts. When HIV is identified early through testing, and individuals are linked to and retained in medical care, studies show this will substantially reduce the spread of HIV.
Recently, the Virginia Department of Health partnered with 13 Walgreens drug stores to provide free HIV testing. Five of these stores are located in Northern Virginia: Alexandria, Manassas (2 locations), Reston and Fredericksburg. Click here for hours of operation and specific locations.
The CDC has a new prevention campaign called “Start Talking, Stop HIV.” The message they want to convey is that the more people know, the safer they are, and the more likely they can reduce their risk and the risk to others. While there are medications to treat HIV disease, there is still no cure. Get tested, use protection and encourage others to get tested and know their status.