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The Story of a Red Ribbon

The red ribbon is an awareness symbol for HIV infection and support for those people living with HIV, together with their families and relatives—for those infected and for all affected.

In this article, the red ribbon will represent a person living with HIV. The pictures are highly intended to go along with the text to signify the "messages" in the story.

(For grammatical purpose, the pronoun "he" is used by the writer to represent all genders. Discrimination of any kind is not the intention of this article.)

The Story of a Red Ribbon Began

Once upon a time, there was a ribbon that does everything he wishes for. He stubbornly got what he wanted to. He was new in the company of young adults, invigorating to search what life can offer them.

So much curiosity overwhelmed him and carelessness of the consequences remained his goal. His state of mind delved in a life without boundaries—no rules, party's everywhere, drug injections are older but numerously claimed trend, and sexual intercourse is the main course.

Dry leaf represents diminishing health.

Dry leaf represents diminishing health.

Heart Seemed Ripped Apart

The red ribbon enjoyed and saw no contentment of the things he had. He craved for more with no feelings of satisfaction. He even took for granted his own health and pay no attention to the recurrent sicknesses.

Over time, he noticed his heath was diminishing. He lost so much weight; he always stayed at home because of frequent fever and weakness. He began to search through internet the symptoms he was experiencing and read about HIV infection. With so much fear in his heart, he indulged himself for an HIV laboratory test.

On the day he got and saw the test result, tears flowed from his eyes, his heart seemed ripped apart with knees about to crumble.

Fear of the Known

Nothing on his mind but only fear of what might other people would think and feel about him; frightful of the worldly persecution because of the disease; and fear of death. He tried to conceal it only to himself, not known by his families, relatives, friends and especially from the society.

His Body Said it All

A silent anguish overcome him because of fear of shame, persecution, AIDS and death. He consumed the pain, but his deteriorated body said it all.

His family became concerned and the secret was revealed. His family was shattered inside but chosen to stand up.

They Lift Him Up

With "one foot on the grave" and skeleton-like physique embodied with opportunistic infections, his family urged him to seek medical attention.They were referred to a medical center and organization specialized in handling HIV diseases.

Stricken with sickness, nowhere to go, and had seemed the last glance of hope, he endowed himself to the organization. The organization grabbed his hands, put him up and told, " you will be alright."

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They Nurtured Him

The organization took care of his diminishing health. Different forces from different organizations came hand in hand.

They treated the sickness; they administered antiretroviral drugs to counteract the actions and effects of the disease.

They nurtured him within their jurisdiction. They carried him and made sure he would revive his health.

Green leaf beneath red ribbon represents renewed health

Green leaf beneath red ribbon represents renewed health

Health Renewed

Over time, they noticed rosy cheeks and brightened face instead of agonizing pain due to opportunistic infections. Medications to treat different infection including HIV were continued and adherence was ordered and was obediently obeyed.

Aggravating infections gradually faded away. Everyday, another pound was added on his weight. Revealing smiles were shown. Laughs were heard again. Staffs, families, and he were unspeakably happy.

He Saw Life of Thankfulness

The organization let him see the others infected with the virus. They encouraged him to stand up. The red ribbon saw people who were happy and joyed with vibrant health even though they were fully aware of the infection and the possible consequences that might arise.

The red ribbon saw people with vitality of them to live; with the contentment of heart on what they are and in what conditions they are into.

The overwhelming thankfulness for the Divine Providence, and the strength that comes from within overflowed from them. All those things were not literally seen nor heard, but were felt and were understood.

The Red Ribbon Stood And Walked

Amazed with what he saw, he found strength to stand up. He indulged himself with the company of others infected, with the support of the organization.He saw the life he had seen, felt the happiness he had observed and had grown the desire to help. The power to live for himself and for his family became his primary goal.

The red ribbon tried to walk, but this time, alone. The organization and his family knew that his life was returned, but now, reasonable and satisfied.

Blessed and Loved

At first, red ribbon felt the speck of fear again when he incorporated himself to the community; but the strength of his heart, with a reasonable life is much powerful than any flicker of fear.

Now, he sees that he was not alone in his fight. He is being carried by a Hand not seen but felt.

The red ribbon mirrors himself as blessed and loved despite any tribulations that may come his way.

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