Knitted red scarves to be hung around city for World AIDS Day

A local group caring for children orphaned by AIDS in African nations and elsewhere is once again spearheading its version of the international Red Scarf Project. It begins today, World AIDS Day, in downtown Columbus.

The Red Scarf Project was launched in 2012 by the staff at the Regional HIV/AIDS Connection in London, England, as a means of delivering a meaningful impact for World AIDS Day on Dec. 1 each year.

World AIDS Day, designated every year since 1988, is dedicated to raising awareness of the AIDS pandemic caused by the spread of HIV infection, and mourning people who have died from the disease.

The Columbus-based Granny Connection has worked with volunteers from the nonprofit Mill Race Center and a local teen to knit about 60 red scarves to be tied to trees and lamp posts.

Columbus North High School senior Cynthia Guzman has made the effort her senior project.

The scarves are a way to demonstrate compassion and care for those living with HIV, show support for all HIV and AIDS service organizations, researchers, and dedicated care providers, and commit to education and prevention to halt the AIDS pandemic, organizers said.

The scarves will rest in their locations until someone removes one, simply for a warm neck covering, project leaders said.

After a few days, scarves that are left will be taken down and given to charitable causes.

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Brian Blair is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at bblair@therepublic.com or 812-379-5672.