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  • Writer's pictureRahem White

AR RAPPS Rocks the Ribbon

December is always an exciting month for me. Not only does it represent the finale of the year, but it also the month that houses some of my favorite celebrations: Christmas (December 25), my birthday (December 7), and World AIDS Day (December 1). Last year, I wanted to do something fun and innovative for World AIDS Day, so I started a "Rock the Ribbon" campaign.

To pull this off, I brought together representatives from multiple stakeholder organizations (including Arkansas Department of Health, Human Rights Campaign, and Arkansas Black Gay Men's Forum) and invited them to create unified multimedia messaging with the aims to encourage HIV testing, reduce HIV stigma, and increase general HIV knowledge. We created pictures holding signs with messages like "HIV AFFECTS EVERYBODY" and "USE CLEAN NEEDLES".

For the videos I asked participants to either explain why they "Rock the Ribbon" or what message was important for them to get out on World AIDS Day. We ended all videos with the affirmation that "We can end HIV in Arkansas Together".

This campaign also invited other community members to participate by allowing them to scan a QR code and upload their own pictures showing how they "Rock the Ribbon". These pictures were included in a photo wall that was available to be viewed online for a week's worth of time.

Overall, I was very satisfied with the outcome of this campaign and I can't wait to share what I have planned for World AIDS Day 2023! Stay tuned here and on our social media channels for more information on all of our upcoming events and programming.

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