Press release

Ten organizations receive Red Ribbon Award for outstanding community leadership on AIDS

21 July 2014

MELBOURNE, 21 July 2014—Ten exceptional community-based organizations have won the 2014 Red Ribbon Award for their inspiring work in reducing the impact of the AIDS epidemic. They were presented with the prestigious prize in a special session at the 20th International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2014) in Melbourne, Australia. The Red Ribbon Award is the world’s leading award for innovative and outstanding community work in the response to the AIDS epidemic.

Community-based organizations have shown the world how to mobilize for change in the AIDS response and the Red Ribbon Award recognizes their transformative achievements.

“In villages and townships across the globe, communities have taken matters into their own hands and come up with innovative solutions to what often appear as insurmountable problems in the AIDS response,” said UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé. “I congratulate the winners of the Red Ribbon Award 2014 for their courage, determination and dedication. Their leadership and cutting-edge thinking have brought us to where we are today.

The 2014 winning organizations are from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Guyana, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Kenya, Lebanon, Malawi, Nepal, Ukraine and Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of). Almost 1000 nominations from more than 120 countries were received by the Red Ribbon Award secretariat, which is hosted by UNAIDS in partnership with other United Nations organizations, AIDS 2014, the Global Network of People Living with HIV, the International Community of Women Living with HIV/AIDS, the International Council of AIDS Service Organizations and Irish Aid. A global panel of civil society representatives selected the finalists from a shortlist determined by regional panels. Each of the winning organizations will receive a US$ 10 000 grant and have been invited to participate in AIDS 2014.

At the Red Ribbon Award special session, the winners were congratulated by Epeli Nailatikau, President of Fiji, Nafsiah Mboi, Minister of Health of Indonesia, Dr. Jarbas Barbosa, Vice Minister of Health of Brazil, Dame Carol Kidu, former Member of Parliament of Papua New Guinea and Jan Beagle, Deputy Executive Director, Management and Governance, UNAIDS.

President Nailatikau said, “This award honours the incredible innovation taking place at the grass roots. I am proud to give this award to organizations whose actions in the communities they serve truly make a huge difference to people affected by HIV.”

The Red Ribbon Award was first presented in 2006 and since then has been handed out every two years at the International AIDS Conference. This year there were five award categories. The 10 winners are listed below by category.

Category one: Prevention of sexual transmission

Action pour la Lutte contre l’Ignorance du SIDA (ALCIS) is a community-based organization founded in 1999 to prevent sexual transmission of HIV among young people and men who have sex with men in the context of sex work. It is the only organization in the Democratic Republic of the Congo to organize sex workers and men who have sex with men into solidarity committees that represent a collective and cooperative entity.

Marsa Sexual Health Centre provides marginalized sexually active young people, women, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual, transgender and intersex people (LGBTI) and people living with HIV full access to sexual and reproductive health services.

Category two: Prevention among/by people who use drugs

Ehyaye Hayyate Sarmad is best known for its Red Ribbon Prison, which has provided treatment for drug users and organized workshops on sexual and reproductive health. Ehyaye Hayyate Sarmad is one of the first organizations in the Islamic Republic of Iran to work in the field of harm reduction and HIV in the prison system.

Dristi provides services and support to women who use drugs in Nepal. The organization is run by women who are former drug users and is dedicated to reducing the harmful impact of drug use through advocacy, treatment and support. 

Category three: Treatment, care and support

Life Concern Organization (LICO) helps to improve the health and development of marginalized and vulnerable populations in Malawi. Since February 2009, LICO has worked to empower and lead an engaged community that can make informed decisions in the Rumphi district of northern Malawi. 

Cherkassy Regional Branch of All-Ukrainian Network of PLWHA started as a self-help group to support the HIV-positive community. Over the past 12 years, the organization has worked to create systematic change at the regional level and to improve the quality of life through treatment, diagnosis and accompaniment for people living with HIV.

Category four: Advocacy and human rights

Society against Sexual Orientation Discrimination (SASOD) is dedicated to the eradication of homophobia in Guyana and throughout the Caribbean. SASOD has worked to repeal discriminatory Guyanese laws, change local attitudes about the LGBTI community and end discrimination in the government, workplace and community.

Perssaudaraan Korban Napza Indonesia (PKNI) is a leading national network representing the common priorities of 25 self-organized drug user groups across 19 provinces in Indonesia. PKNI was established in 2006 to address stigma, violence, discrimination and violations of human rights towards people who use drugs.

Category five: Stopping new HIV infections among children and keeping mothers alive, women’s health

Girl Child Counseling Women’s Group is a grass-roots women’s group that focuses on bringing together all community members to address the high rate of new HIV infections among women of childbearing age in Matunda, Kenya. The group vision is “A HIV free generation in the Matunda location.”

AC Mujeres Unidas por la Salud was created as a nongovernmental organization in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in 2003 and is led by 35 women. Over the past years it has become an organization of reference at the national level for women living with HIV as a result of their efforts. It provides spaces where women can receive counselling, information and support.

For further information about this year’s winners and the Red Ribbon Award, please see the Red Ribbon Award website at www.redribbonaward.org.

The 2014 Red Ribbon Award on Social Media

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/redribbon2014/timeline

Twitter: https://twitter.com/2014RedRibbon

About the Sponsors

UNAIDS

The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) leads and inspires the world to achieve its shared vision of zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths. UNAIDS unites the efforts of 11 UN organizations—UNHCR, UNICEF, WFP, UNDP, UNFPA, UNODC, UN Women, ILO, UNESCO, WHO and the World Bank—and works closely with global and national partners to maximize results for the AIDS response. Learn more at unaids.org and connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.

UN partners

The UN partners involved in the Red Ribbon Award initiative bring together the efforts and resources of all UNAIDS Cosponsors and the UNAIDS Secretariat.

AIDS 2014

The XX International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2014) is the premier gathering for those working in the field of HIV, as well as policy makers, persons living with HIV and other individuals committed to ending the pandemic. It is a chance for stakeholders to take stock of where the epidemic is, evaluate recent scientific developments and lessons learnt, and collectively chart a course forward. AIDS 2014 will be held in Melbourne, Australia from 20 to 25 July 2014. (www.aids2014.org). The International AIDS Society is the convener and custodian of the conference.

Global Network of People Living with HIV

GNP+ is the global network for and by people living with HIV. GNP+ advocates to improve the quality of life of people living with HIV. Driven by the needs of people living with HIV worldwide, GNP+ supports people living with HIV through their organizations and networks. GNP+ works to ensure equitable access to health and social services, by focusing on social justice, rights and more meaningful involvement of people living with HIV in programme and policy development – the GIPA principle. (www.gnpplus.net)

International Community of Women Living with HIV/AIDS

ICW Global emerged to look for answers facing the desperate lack of support, information and services available for women living with HIV. The organization promotes the leadership and involvement of women living with HIV in spaces where policies and programmes are developed and implemented and where the decisions that affect the life of thousands of people who live with the virus are made. The vision is for a just world where women living with HIV are leaders in HIV programmes and policy and realize their universal rights. They dream of a world where women, young women, girls, adolescents living with HIV have full access to care and treatment and enjoy all of their rights: sexual, reproductive, legal, economic and health, regardless of culture, age, religion, sexuality, race or socio-economic status. (www.icwglobal.org)

International Council of AIDS Service Organizations

Founded in 1991, the International Council of AIDS Service Organizations’ (ICASO) mission is to mobilize and support diverse community organizations to build an effective global response to end AIDS. This is done within a vision of a world where people living with and affected by HIV can enjoy life free from stigma, discrimination, and persecution, and have access to prevention, treatment and care. The ICASO network operates globally, regionally and locally, and reaches over 100 countries internationally. (www.icaso.org)

Irish Aid

Irish Aid is the Government of Ireland's programme of assistance to developing countries. Its aid philosophy is rooted in Ireland's foreign policy, in particular its objectives of peace and justice. The international development policy "One World, One Future" reflects Ireland's longstanding commitment to human rights and fairness in international relations and is inseparable from Irish foreign policy as a whole. The Irish Aid programme has as its absolute priority the reduction of poverty, inequality and exclusion in developing countries, with a strong geographic focus on Sub-Saharan Africa. Improving access to quality essential social services such as health, education, services related to HIV and AIDS, and social protection is seen as key to the realisation of human rights, the reduction of poverty, hunger and inequality and the promotion of inclusive economic growth. (http://www.irishaid.gov.ie)

About the Red Ribbon Award

The red ribbon is a global symbol in the movement to address AIDS. The Red Ribbon Award, presented every two years at the International AIDS Conference, is designed to honor and celebrate community based organizations for their outstanding initiatives that show leadership in reducing the spread and impact of AIDS. The award is a joint effort of the UNAIDS family and as such, this year it will place particular emphasis on the organization's newly approved global priority areas of action.

The Red Ribbon Award was first given in 2006 and has recognized 85 organizations from over 50 different countries since then as leading community-based responses to AIDS. Such organizations lie at the heart of the response to the AIDS epidemic – displaying extraordinary courage, resilience and strength in addressing one of the greatest challenges of our time. Using creative and sustainable ways to promote prevention of sexual transmission, and prevention among people who use drugs, provide treatment, care, and support to people living with HIV and demonstrating innovation in the face of stigma and discrimination through advocacy and human rights, and stopping new HIV infections in children and keeping mothers alive, and taking care of women’s health, these examples of community leadership are showing us in practical terms how to reverse a global epidemic – one community at a time.