The little thread of health: Awareness ribbons
- By Team TDO
Health awareness ribbons: Do they help?
We see all kinds of reactions from people around us. Some join in and proudly wear the ribbons, some ignore, while some find it funny and pointless.
If you think they are too trivial and inconsequential, you are in for a big surprise. The awareness ribbons are found out to be highly effective. The key word here is ‘aware’, which is always the first step to prevention or cure. Being aware is defined as having knowledge of a situation or fact. How can one act on a situation that he/she is unaware of. The ribbons are symbolic and draw the attention of communities from all sections of the society. Campaigns run across the world and spread immense amount of information.
Though we have a variety of colors that denote various diseases, the ones we most commonly see are red and pink. You recognize them, don’t you?
The very fact that most of us are able to associate red ribbons with HIV and pink with breast cancer shows the validity of this measure.
Open up and talk
HIV and AIDS were the taboo topics. There were several misconceptions about how the infection is acquired and spread. Infected patients not only had to fight the disease, they had the additional struggle against societal bias. No one understood the difference between HIV positive and AIDS. Contrary to the facts, people feared their life is over once infected. The awareness campaigns with the symbolic red ribbon have encouraged everyone to step up and share their experiences. Now, we have easy access to the facts and are better educated about HIV.
Going back a few years, most women would quietly ignore a small lump or discomfort in the breasts. The reasons were simple – they felt shy and believed it to be a harmless symptom. They did not know of mammograms. They thought cancer was always meant to be fatal. With the help of movements such as the health awareness ribbons people are now opening up and talking. Young girls know that no lump should be ignored and they are not afraid to seek a medical examination.
Survivors connect and support groups come together
The most powerful impact of these little threads is the support people give and receive. The sufferers and survivors get a platform to connect with each other. These diseases create a life changing episode for the sufferers and their families. The comfort felt in finding others who go through the same pain is irreplaceable.
The fighter’s spirit is the biggest motivator and the ribbons are an iconic representation of our war against the killer illnesses.