CAYR Community Connections is starting this week our annual Red for Change campaign, a campaign that is meant to bring about awareness to HIV/AIDS. During the last two weeks of November, leading up to World AIDS Day on December 1st, we plan to share photos throughout social media and we are asking York Region community members to participate in our #Redforchange campaign by wearing and/or displaying something red. Folks can show their awareness and support by sending in their photos to [email protected]  or on their own social media channels with a selfie and/or distanced group photo with friends or colleagues with the hashtag #Redforchange, tagging CAYR Community Connections.

Last year was especially challenging due to the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 and a lot was missed. This year isn’t much different with the continuing pandemic, and getting the awareness out there and keeping it alive is so very important. This global Coronavirus pandemic is and should be taken very seriously, but it should not lead us to forget about another pandemic, that of HIV and AIDS.

It is true that much time has gone by since the first AIDS outbreak, so much has been lost, but so much has been gained. The advancements in treatment, the greater understanding of U=U (undetectable = untransmittable) , the introduction of HIV self testing. But we are not quite there yet, because as much as we need a vaccine or even a cure, we need to be aware and put an end to the surrounding stigma!

More than ever we need to recognize, accept, understand, and show our human compassion for one another. Let’s not allow the true sense of community and opportunities of lessons to be learned slip away.

So join us and show your support! Wear  the ribbon, a sweater, a toque, or find something to display. Show the red, and together, we can make the change!

 

By Mark Koning

Mark is the Manager of Communications & Operations with CAYR COMMUNITY CONNECTIONS. Mark is also an Author and Blogger of Challenging Barriers and The BIST Blog. (Brain Injury Society of Toronto)