Stephen Fry ahead of World AIDS Day we must never forget, and never give up the fight against HIV
Wednesday 30 November 2016
Stephen Fry, Graham Norton and Wayne Sleep are backing Terrence Higgins Trust’s #ItsNotOver campaign for World AIDS Day, urging the public to wear a red ribbon on Thursday 1 December.
On World AIDS Day (Thursday 1 December) the iconic red ribbon is a global symbol of solidarity, remembrance and pride.
Terrence Higgins Trust, the UK’s leading HIV and sexual health charity, is urging people to wear red ribbons on Thursday 1 December to show that the fight against HIV is not over in the UK, and to tackle the last barriers – stigma, and complacency.
Explaining what the red ribbon means to him, Stephen Fry said: 'I wear my red ribbon as a way of remembering all those we lost to HIV. We saw our friends, lovers and families die and a generation of friends were lost and bright, beautiful lights were snuffed out before their time.
'As a community, we are still recovering from that awful time, but World AIDS Day gives us all a chance to reflect and come together to celebrate the real progress that has been made. I’m backing Terrence Higgins Trust’s ‘It’s Not Over’ campaign because we must never forget, and never give up the fight against HIV.'
Graham Norton said: 'The red ribbon is a powerful symbol of solidarity, remembrance and pride on World AIDS Day. Sadly HIV is still a taboo topic in the UK, so I always find it really moving to see strangers, friends, and high profile figures wearing red ribbons as a public display of support on this special day.'
Ballet legend Wayne Sleep said: 'We need World AIDS Day more than ever in 2016. We've come such a long way in terms of treating HIV in a medical sense, but we are decades out of date in terms of attitudes and awareness.
'Many people in the UK haven't heard anything about HIV since the 'tombstones' ad campaigns of the 1980s, so charities like Terrence Higgins Trust are working hard to bring the public up to date and reduce the stigma and fear around the virus.'
Ian Green, Chief Executive of Terrence Higgins Trust said: 'We’ve come a long way since the AIDS crisis first emerged, when the nation was gripped by panic and fear.
'Thankfully, we now know far more about how HIV is and is not transmitted, and medical advances now mean HIV doesn’t have to stand in the way of living a long and healthy life.
'But it’s not over – while science has moved on, myths and stigma around HIV are still deeply entrenched in society, HIV services are being cut, and there are more people living with HIV in the UK today than ever before. We can’t stop now.
'We must not let complacency and misunderstanding undo decades of progress. On World AIDS Day, it’s more important than ever that we’re still fighting, still caring, and still wearing our red ribbons with pride.'
More information on World AIDS Day.