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Giant HIV/AIDS Ribbon to light up Palais Wilson

In the first such event of its kind in Switzerland, a large ribbon has been mounted on the façade of the Geneva lakefront UN Human Rights office this week, waiting to be lit up with red lights with donations in support of people living with HIV.

The Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights launching the Red Ribbon campaign © OHCHR photoEvery 30 Swiss Franc contribution by SMS will light one of 350 light tubes forming the ribbon from this Thursday, 27 January, until 14 February 2011. A single donation of 10,000 Swiss Francs will light up the entire ribbon. The aim is to have the ribbon fully lit as many times as possible over the two-week period.

Funds raised will be split between Groupe Sida Genève, a not-for-profit organisation working over the past 24 years to support people affected by HIV in the region, and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. The money will go towards projects to fight against discrimination directed at people with HIV.

The idea was the brainchild of Baroness Nadine de Rothschild who suggested it, in passing, to a Groupe Sida Genève member two years ago. Its realization was made possible with the support of OHCHR and Service Industriels de Genève (SIG), which is funding the construction and operation of the lights in an environmentally friendly fashion, through the use of LED.

To make the donations, an SMS is to be sent to the number in Switzerland: 339 with the word RUBAN followed by the amount to be donated. The money, along with the cost of an SMS, will be charged to the donor’s mobile phone account.

27 January 2011