The Group Health Centre’s HIV & AIDS Resource Program (HARP) are excited to get underway with the 2nd annual Red Lock Campaign. The goal of the Red Lock Campaign is to shift the conversation around what it’s like living with, or supporting someone living with HIV. The hope is to engage communities in Algoma with concepts that inspire empathy and convey optimism – a contrast to what people typically think when they hear about HIV/AIDS. The Red Lock Campaign encourages people to Unlock Love, Hope and Acceptance and uses the red locks as a symbol for people to “unlock”, and break down preconceived judgements to support those living with HIV.
As mentioned, this is the 2nd year that HARP has run the Red Lock Campaign, and as is the same for many events this year, the Red Lock Campaign has moved mostly online. There will still be some physical displays throughout Algoma, though people are not encouraged to remove the locks this year. Instead, there will be a QR code on the displays that people can scan and then “unlock love” virtually after watching a video of HIV-positive individuals sharing their personal experiences. “Our hope for the Red Lock campaign this year, by sharing lived experiences from our community, was to create something compelling that everyone can relate to and open our hearts while evoking feelings of empathy and support.”, said Shana Shipperbottom, Support Services Worker with HARP.
Stigma is the biggest barrier to people being tested for HIV and seeking support. “The year 2020 has shown us the importance of shared responsibility and solidarity within our community with the current pandemic. It is fitting that this year’s theme for World AIDS Day is Global Solidarity, Shared Responsibility when it has never been more important to show kindness and support to others.” , said Shipperbottom.
The Red Lock Campaign runs for 2 weeks total, surrounding World AIDS Day on December 1st. It begins the last week of November, which is HIV Awareness week, and ends after the first week of December, with Aboriginal AIDS Awareness Week. To show your support and Unlock Love, Hope and Acceptance, visit www.hiv-awareness.ca.
For any questions about the Red Lock Campaign, or HARP in general, please contact Shana Shipperbottom at 705-541-8258.
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