HIV Stigma Stops Here

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HIV/AIDS affects everyone, everywhere.

At the heart of the spread of the infection lie STIGMA and DISCRIMINATION. Therefore, to achieve an HIV/AIDS free world, Red Ribbon for Courage aims to eliminate stigma by using social media to give a voice to the stories of those infected/affected and individuals/institutions working to bring an end to HIV/AIDS. Through this work we hope to: raise awareness about HIV/AIDS and its associated stigma, eradicated stigma and prevent new infections by humanizing HIV/AIDS, and create a network united and dedicated to the end of HIV/AIDS.

Red Ribbon for Courage seeks to make a difference in the fight against HIV/AIDS by eradicating stigma through the use of multimedia on social media and by creating a network of individuals/institutions united for an HIV/AIDS free world

 

See how HIV-associated stigma has persisted through the years in this video:

 

 

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RED Flag: Stigma Comes with a Price.

HIV-related stigma and discrimination refers to prejudice, negative attitudes and abuse directed at people living with HIV/AIDS.
This stigma leads people to believe:

  • An HIV positive diagnosis constitutes a death sentence
  • HIV is a result of or “punishment” for homosexuality, drug use, sex work, or infidelity
  • HIV is only transmitted through sex
    • Inaccurate information about how HIV is transmitted
    • HIV is a result of or “punishment” for homosexuality, drug use, sex work, or infidelity

 

The International Center for Research on Women presents research that shows the devastating consequences of stigma include:

  • Loss of Income and Employment
  • Reduced Quality of Healthcare
  • Lessened Marriage and Child Bearing Options
  • Feelings of Worthlessness and Depression
  • Isolation Due to Negative Impact to Reputation

 

RED Alert: Stigma is the Problem.

Stigma and its associated fear limit access to HIV testing, treatment, and other HIV services. This means people are increasingly marginalized not only from society, but from services necessary for detection and protection from HIV.

Studies cite fear of stigma and discrimination as the main reason why people hesitate to get tested, disclose their HIV status, and adhere to an antiretroviral drug regimen. These factors contribute to an increase in new infections globally and a higher rate of AIDS-related deaths.

Stigma preventing individuals from taking an HIV test means that more people are diagnosed late, during which time the virus may have already progressed to AIDS. This increases the chances of transmitting HIV to others therefore propagating the infection.

 

Seeing RED: It’s Time to ERADICATE Stigma.

Stigma interferes with people fully understanding HIV, which can keep positive individuals from properly managing the infection. This impedes efforts to fight the HIV/AIDS pandemic.

Stigma isn’t just at the individual level, but rather it can be found at all levels including:

      • Governmental: Discriminatory laws, rules, and policies
      • Healthcare: Judgement about a person’s HIV Status, behavior, sexual orientation
      • Employment: Discriminatory practices such as termination or refusal of employment
      • Community: Social isolation, verbal, physical abuse

Building a culture of respect that is based on fundamental human rights is the best way to eradicate stigma.

Red Ribbon for Courage seeks to do this by humanizing HIV/AIDS and by assembling a network united for an HIV/AIDS free world.

 

Introducing Red Ribbon for Courage:

 

Stigma Through the Years:

Coming Soon.

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Meet the Team

 

Sarah Little

Intra-Institutional Outreach Coordinator
Private Funding Associate

Sarah Little

Sarah is a senior studying biology at UNC Chapel Hill. She is a member of the UNC Club Softball team and volunteers with the UNC Healthcare System.

 

Margaret Nations

Assistant Editor

Margaret Nations

Maggie is a senior Psychology major at UNC. Outside of her work on Red Ribbon of Courage, she works at Davis Library, enjoys volunteering at UNC Hospitals, and spends her free time reading and cooking.

 

Jeliyah Clark

Production Coordinator Film & Photography

Jeliyah Clark

Jeliyah Clark is a second year Biology major with minors in Chemistry and African American and Diaspora Studies. She hopes to pursue a career in research pertaining to public health and pediatric oncology.

 

Marielle Bond

Inter-Institutional Outreach Coordinator
Film Production Coordinator

Marielle Bond

Marielle Bond is a sophomore from Charlotte, NC, majoring in Biology with a minor in Philosophy. She is interested in studying infectious disease and immunology in particular.

 

Mayela Peralta-Alcon

Social Media Manager
Production Coordinator Film

Mayela Peralta-Alcon

Mayela is a first generation college student. Her perspective major at UNC-Chapel Hill is Clinical Lab Science. Her passion has always been helping others which becomes evident looking at her extra curricular activities. She is secretary for SUIE (Students United for Immigrant Equality) and volunteered at the public library giving classes to special need kids.

 

Madrid Danner-Smith

Graphic Designer

Madrid

Madrid is a Graphic Designer & Motivational Speaker from the city of Newark, NJ. He is studying at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as a Journalism major with a minor in Entrepreneurship. He strives to be a positive force in the world and add value to the lives of others.

 

Jessie L’amoreaux

Inter-Institutional Outreach Coordinator
Public Funding Associate

Jessica grew up in Corning, N.Y. before moving to Hickory, N.C. She is a member of the Class of 2016 at UNC Chapel Hill and plans to graduate in May of 2016 with a B.A. in Anthropology and a minor in Medical Anthropology. She is especially interested in health policy and the social components of infectious disease, and hopes to attend graduate school to pursue a Master’s in Public Health following graduation.

 

Sanjana Vattigunta

Branding/Merchandising Officer

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Sanjana Vattigunta is an undergraduate student at the College of Arts and Sciences at UNC Chapel Hill majoring in Biology and Athletic Training. She became interested in HIV/AIDS and human rights after an internship at an HIV/AIDS non-profit hospital in Chennai, India. Sanjana hopes to pursue a career in medicine.

 

Meredith Blumberg

Director of Photography

Meredith Blumberg

Meredith Blumberg is an undergraduate student at UNC Chapel Hill in the Health Policy and Management program at the Gillings School of Global Public Health. She is also a psychology major at the College of Arts and Sciences at UNC. She is interested in HIV/AIDS prevention work, and ultimately wants to develop programs centered around changing education and access to health care in order to help reduce the transmission of HIV/AIDS to at-risk populations. In her spare time, Meredith loves to read, rock-climb, and do yoga.

 

Mackenzie O’Brien

Press Liaison
Public Funding Associate

MacKenzie OBrien

Mackenzie was born and raised in High Point, NC where she became involved with local food banks and swim programs. This passion for working with people and service transferred to UNC where she is currently a double major in Biology and Sociology.

 

Alex O’Hara

Web/Digital Media Manager

Alex O'Hara

Alexander O’Hara is a third year Biology major at UNC Chapel Hill with minors in Chemistry and Neuroscience. He hopes to pursue a career in medicine. In his free time, Alex enjoys fishing and exploring the outdoors.

 

Meghan Gross

Assistant Editor
Branding/Merchandising Officer

Meghan Gross

Meghan grew up in several countries and states because she was a member of a military family. She is a member of the Class of 2018 and plans to graduate in May of 2016 with a B.A. in Public Health. She is particularly interested in healthcare disparities throughout the world and plans to pursue a career working with non profit organizations.

 

Mengqi (Stella) Jiang

Documentary Production Associate

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Mengqi Jiang is an international graduate student at UNC Chapel Hill in the reporting program at the School of Media and Journalism. She is interested in video production and telling stories of ordinary people who don’t have an opportunity to be given a voice. She hopes that her documentaries will increase public awareness about HIV/AIDS and attract social efforts to help the patients. In her spare time, Mengqi loves to do yoga, shop and watch movies.

 

Kelley Hamill

Documentary Production Associate

Kelley Hamill

Kelley Hamill is an undergraduate student at UNC Chapel Hill studying multimedia in the School of Media and Journalism. She is interested in visual storytelling and hopes to pursue a career in video journalism at a major news organization in the future. In her spare time, Kelley loves hiking, traveling, and hang out with her dogs.

 

Rob Arend

Chief Editor
Branding/Merchandising Officer

Rob Arend

Rob is originally from Pittsburgh and has lived around North Carolina for about ten years now.  He recently graduated from UNC with a B.S. in Biology and a B.A. in Chemistry and hopes to attend medical school in the next couple years.  He is very passionate about providing better access to healthcare, especially amongst underserved communities.

 

Luwan Debru

National Press Liaison

Luwam Debru

Luwam Debru is a senior majoring in Psychology with a minor in Medical Anthropology. In the future she hopes to pursue a career in medicine, and provide access to basic health care for people living in low income areas around the world.

 

Brad Joyner

Red Directory Manager

Brad Joyner

William Joyner is a Junior undergraduate student at UNC Chapel Hill. He is currently pursuing a Biology B.S. with minors in Chemistry and Archeology. His interests include studying how HIV infects and lives on inside its host on a molecular level, spreading awareness about HIV/AIDS prevention to the general public, and helping to reduce the stigma surrounding the disease. Ultimately, he plans to attend medial school to pursue an M.D., where he hopes to one day better the lives of patients suffering from HIV/AIDS. In his spare time, William likes to read, cook, and write short stories.

 

Brandon Lam

Red Directory Programming Specialist

Brandon Lam

Brandon is an undergraduate at UNC Chapel Hill. Prior to coming to the triangle area, he grew up in a small town called Marion in the mountains of North Carolina. This year, Brandon is a senior this year and planning to graduate in May 2016. He is working on a major in computer science, with a minor in biology and information science. Brandon is involved in the Asian community on campus and is in Pi Alpha Phi Asian interest fraternity. In his free time, he enjoys reading and keeping up with cars and technology.

 

Ben Hu

Red Directory Programming Specialist

Ben

(Content Coming)

 

Ryan Oberfelder

Red Directory Programming Specialist

Ryan lived in Columbia Maryland, and Houston Texas before moving to Cary North Carolina. He currently attends the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill as a senior Computer Science and Economics double major. Ryan is highly interested in servers, web application design, and the Internet of Things. After college he plans on pursuing a software engineering job and working towards a masters in Computer Science.

 

Julian E. Wooten

Project Director

(Content Coming)

 

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