Debbie Jacobs Rock will perform “B’More Aware,” an adaptation of Dave Guetta’s hit song “When Love Takes Over,” to motivate Living Red Ribbon participants. A special music video can be seen at: youtube.com/watch?v=3VHXSx0123U (Photo courtesy Photography by Alexander)
Baltimore has long been ranked as one of the metropolitan areas in the United States most impacted by HIV. The city has the fifth highest AIDS case report rate in the nation and, since 2001, men who have sex with men have accounted for an increasing proportion of new HIV infections. To confront this problem, three local AIDS service organizations have teamed up to form The Partnership for Life. With community support, the Partnership will attempt to set a new world record—in raising awareness about HIV.
On Saturday, October 9, area residents will join AIDS Interfaith Residential Services (AIRS), Chase Brexton Health Services, and Moveable Feast at Baltimore’s Inner Harbor for the first-ever “Living” Red Ribbon: a chain of people organized to form the shape of a red AIDS ribbon on Rash Field. The Partnership for Life expects more than 1,000 participants. Organizers hope to beat Frankfurt, Germany, which made the Guiness Book of World Records when 3,640 people formed a Living Red Ribbon there.
In a press release, Chase Brexton’s CEO David Shippee said, “We deal with the HIV community everyday and are always looking for opportunities to improve their quality of life through referrals and resources. We welcome this opportunity to partner with similar organizations to draw attention to a health risk that continues to permeate our population.”
Beginning at 9 am, event sponsors will offer free HIV testing, as well as prevention and treatment information and referral. Maryland Physicians Care’s “HealthyGroove RV” will be on site to offer free healthy cooking demonstrations, interactive games, and health screenings. Entertainment will include Goucher College’s Red, Hot, and Bluea capella singing group and a one-time only, live performance of the event’s theme song “B’More Aware” by Debbie Jacobs Rock. Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings Blake and U.S. Representative Elijah Cummings are also expected to attend.
At 11 am, participants will begin to form the AIDS ribbon. Participants are encouraged to wear red shirts, and those who donate at least $5 to The Partnership for Life will receive a color print of a glass mosaic ribbon designed by Art with a Heart. All donations will help provide coordinated food, housing, and health care services to people affected by HIV and AIDS.
What: B’More Aware of HIV: Living Red Ribbon
Where: Rash Field, base of Federal Hill Park
Baltimore Inner Harbor
When: Saturday, October 9
9 am – 12 noon
Info/Register: Partnership for Life
410-327-3420, ext. 11