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Event cuts ribbon for AIDs awareness

Courtesy of the Central Ohio HIV Planning Alliance.

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A human red ribbon was made on the west steps of the Ohio Statehouse Monday at noon to kick off the start of AIDS Awareness Week.

The Central Ohio HIV Planning Alliance marked the beginning of its AIDS Awareness week and people from around Columbus were invited to take part in the event.

Iris Velasco, HIV/AIDS Specialist for the Columbus Urban League was in charge of planning the demonstration.

“We wanted it to be flash mob style. People are to be all over the statehouse grounds, around noon they will make their way to the west steps” Velasco said before the event.

Velasco said the Statehouse was chosen as the location in hopes of attracting bystanders to participate in the event.

“We want to raise awareness,” Velasco said. “We hoped the Statehouse would be busy and attract a big crowd, not just the people working there, but those who are just waiting for the bus or are downtown.”

Participants included members of COHPA and community advocates.

David Baker, director of AIDS Awareness Ministry, said he hoped the demonstration would get AIDS Awareness Week off to a good start.

Participants were instructed to wear red to the event. Red trash bags and ponchos were offered to onlookers who decided to participate.

Velasco said she was hopeful that students from OSU would participate in the demonstration.

“The Wellness Center made a Facebook page for the event and 47 people said they were attending, but you know how that goes,” she said.

There were no OSU student participants in the demonstration.

AIDS Awareness Week will last until Saturday, Oct. 8, ending with AIDSWalk at 9 a.m. at Bicentennial Park. All proceeds from the walk will go toward Central Ohio HIV/AIDS service organizations for prevention and education for the community.

Tre’Vera Green Anderson, an AIDS Advocate who has spoken at the OSU Aids awareness class, said she would like to repeat the human-ribbon demonstration at the AIDSWalk.

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