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    Posted December 1, 2011 by
    Richmond, Virginia
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Have you been affected by AIDS?

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    9 1/2 Minutes in Richmond, Va


    For 9 1/2 minutes today, Richmonders affected by HIV and AIDS gathered under 400 red umbrellas opened to form a red AIDS awareness ribbon to honor and celebrate the lives of those affected by HIV/AIDS. The ribbon was approximately 150 feet long and 80 feet wide. The human memorial ribbon symbolized a recommitment to HIV/AIDS education and prevention. Participants stood for 9 minute 30 seconds as a reminder that this is the length of time it takes for yet one more American to become newly-infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.


    Richmond's Fan Free Clinic, Virginia's first free clinic, sponsored RVA Remembers as a way to honor World AIDS Day 2011 which marks 30 years since the first diagnosed case of HIV in 1981. Since its earliest days of the HIV/AIDS pandemic, Fan Free Clinic has been at the forefront in the Richmond community with HIV/AIDS education, testing, and case management.

    There are approximately 23,000 Virginians living with HIV/AIDS, and Virginia ranks (as of 2009) 13th among the states in number of cumulative AIDS diagnoses since the beginning of the epidemic.

    For all standing under the sea of red and all watching from above, the message was clear. Thirty years is too long.

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