Do you remember last year’s cooperation between BlaH&M and Designers Against Aids that produced a collection of T-Shirts with prints designed by a bunch of celebrities? Well, if you think you can do better than them you will get the chance to do so with Dawanda, MySpace and, of course, Designers Against Aids. Your task is to create a reinvention of the Red Ribbon. It can be anything, a shirt, a postcard, an accessory, or whatever else that comes to mind. 10% of the proceeds of your product at the Dawanda shop will go directly to DAA to help them educate the world about HIV and AIDS. On December 1st the best designs will be rewarded. More about the competition here.
I personally never really liked the Red Ribbon. It’s supposed to be a symbol of awareness but it says so little and makes the display of compassion all too easy. Also, the Red Ribbon shall not be used commercially. So we will not use it in our design. We’re doing it Katharine Hamnett style.
Here in Berlin the number of HIV infections per year have doubled since 2000. 90% of last year’s registered infections go to the account of gay men. No wonder that a lot of straight people think that they cannot get AIDS (only if you’re amongst those unlucky 10%). And, sad but true, there are some gay men who give each other gifts on the days of their infection. Happy infection day!
EDIT: Obviously some people think that I mean these slogans literally. Well, I don’t. You miss my point. It seems there is a need for an explaination. Read on for that.
With my shirts I’m trying to direct the attention to two problems: For one, as commentor G already pointed out, more and more straight women are getting infected. That doesn’t surprise me at all because I know plenty of women who think that knowing a guy for a couple of weeks or months will keep them save from STDs. No girls, without a test only a condome will do.
Secondly, and this is something I can get really anxious about, especially in places like Berlin, AIDS is still a big thing in the gay scene. Those infection numbers are proof. And again, that doesn’t surprise me. AIDS is being accepted now, not feared. Bareback communities and parties are growing. People seem to think they are invincible. But this has a high price.