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5 People Want You To Understand 5 Ways They See Red

Years ago, an HIV or AIDS diagnosis was a death sentence. The red ribbon was a symbol of so many lives lost. But living with HIV/AIDS isn't quite the same as it used to be, and today the iconic red ribbon is a reminder not just of the people we've lost, but of all the progress we've made and the lives we've saved since. These stories need our attention.

5 People Want You To Understand 5 Ways They See Red

HIV/AIDS resource site TheBody.com asked its users to use the hashtag #RedRemindsMe to explain what living with HIV/AIDS is like.

AARON LAXTON

Twitter: @AaronLaxton


#RedRemindsMe that I am standing on the shoulders of those who have come before me and fought to change a broken system of healthcare for those living with HIV and AIDS. Although quality of care has improved, new infections, threat of criminalization, and stigma still demand that we ACT UP, Fight Back and End AIDS.

PATRICK INGRAM

Twitter: @PlusLifeOfPat

Red Reminds Me of the first marathon I ever ran. I had fabulous friends who supported and ran with me as well as the resilience to complete 26.2 miles under 4:30:00. I then had the enthusiasm to run a second marathon two weeks later because I wanted to show people HIV does not hold me down. #RedRemindsMe

JACK MACKENROTH

Twitter @JackMackenroth

#RedRemindsMe of my work with Housing Works and Braking AIDS Ride and the importance of giving back to the #HIV community.

Maria Mejia

Twitter: @MariaHIVMejia

#RedRemindsMe of the true and unconditional love that I share with my wife, Lisa, of 8 years. We are a lesbian magnetic couple. She is the love of my life and my number one supporter. Disclosing my status was one of the hardest things, but I had to give her the option.

Jeremie “Ben B.” Rosley

Twitter: @JBRosley

If not for #HIV, I would have never discovered #healthy #adaptogens like #redtea #jujubes & #barberries. #RedRemindsMe of #RESEARCH

True

If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.