Newspaper reports today suggest that the entertainer and presenter Graham Norton was banned by the BBC from wearing a red ribbon on his TV show last week (29th November), even though all his guests were able to do so.
If this an accurate representation of the facts then shame on you BBC. The hardest part of dealing with the HIV epidemic is making the issue visible to the wider public. The red ribbon not only highlights awareness of HIV and those living with it, but also reminds us of all those we have lost to the condition. It has been a symbol that has been internationally recognised since 1991.
It is a symbol of hope and remembrance, and for the BBC to ban the wearing of the ribbon by people presenting their programmes is beyond belief.
An explanation of how the red ribbon came to be the symbol for HIV awareness and support can be found on the National Aids Trust Site, a link is below;
Links to some of the articles today are below;
This sends completely the wrong message and it is high time the BBC realised that this is not an acceptable response. Such action undermines the progress made by all HIV support and education services in overcoming stigma and raising awareness.
Moreover, is an insult to those living with the condition, and to the memory of those lost as a result of it.
Good on you Mr Norton for refusing to be told not to wear the ribbon on your show, we salute you!
Time to think again BBC.
The Crescent Team
Thank you to all our brave volunteers who braved the cold yesterday in St Albans and Harpenden to raise awareness for World Aids Day and HIV in general.
As a result we managed to get a huge number of people wearing ribbons and some kind souls made donations which now brings our World Aids Day fundraising to almost £3500 which is an absolutely amazing amount,
Thank you all so much, and please remember to take a minute today to remember those we have lost to HIV/AIDS in the last 30 years. With your help we can beat this virus and stop it spreading, but only with your help, please do whatever you can to get the message out to people that they should get tested, and that safe sexual habits are the only way.
Remember that people living with HIV deserve, and need, as much love, respect and care as everyone else. HIV is not someting to be afraid of, but it is something to fight, and to protect yourself from. This can only be done by removing the stigma that surrounds it, and that means education, so spread the word !!
We are contributing also to the awareness event at St Albans Abbey all this week until Monday 5th December, manned by staff and volunteers, so come along to find out how you can help beat the stigma, and defeat HIV now!!
The Crescent Team