This year more than 80 buildings and landmarks too part in the Light Up Scotland campaign and have turned their lights red across Scotland to mark World AIDS Day and remind the nation that HIV and AIDS have not gone away.
It is estimated there are 4479 individuals in Scotland living with HIV, 3734 are attending for specialist care and treatment.
Since 2001, there has been a rise in the annual number of reports of HIV in Scotland. The annual number of gay men or men who have sex with men (MSM) diagnosed with HIV has been rising in a higher rate than the general population and accounting for 71% of cases reported since 2004.
In order to highlight the issue, Light Up Scotland had buildings, monuments and landmarks lit up red all over Scotland; From the SSE Hydro in Glasgow to the Falkrik Wheel, to Inverness Castle all the way to the Mareel Cinema up in Shetland.
Famous and recognisable landmarks used the red colour, associated with the red Ribbon as a call for everyone in Scotland to be sure they know the basics about HIV and AIDS.
The red of the ribbon is a sign of support for those living with HIV and also an understanding that stigma needs to be challenged with information and facts.
The colour red, especially as lights, ribbons or candles, is also a chance for people to a mark their respect and memory for those who have lost the battle to the illnesses.
The event was a success, according to HIV Scotland, successful and was enthusiastically embraced, with a large increase over last years’ 50 buildings and landmarks.
The Falkirk Wheel was spectacularly lit with Alasdair Smart, Lowland Canals Waterway Manager at Scottish Canals, telling KaleidoScot “Scottish Canals and The Falkirk Wheel are proud to support World AIDS Day. The world’s only rotating boat lift looks incredible in any colour but our shift to red is a significant one – as part of Light Up Scotland, we’re showing our support for everyone living with HIV and raising awareness of this important issue.”
George Valiotis, CEO of HIV Scotland praised organisations across Scotland who participated in Light Up Scotland, telling KaleidoScot: “We’re delighted that so many buildings across Scotland turned their lights red to show their support for World AIDS Day this year and the national ‘What Will You Do about HIV’ campaign. From the Falkirk Wheel to Lerwick Town Hall, by turning red these buildings are actively helping raise awareness about HIV and reduce the stigma that affects the lives of so many people living with HIV in Scotland.”
Who turned red?
- Aberdeen: His Majesty’s Theatre; University of Aberdeen Chapel; Marischal College; Robert Gordon University; Cheerz Bar and Club.
- Angus: Angus House; County Buildings; Balmashanner Monument.
- Ayrshire: Ayr Hospital; Bridgegate House; Burns Statue; Burns Monument; Burns Monument Building; Crosshouse Hospital; Kilwinning Heritage Centre; Gaiety Theatre; John Finnie Street Clock.
- Borders: Borders College.
- Dundee: Caird Hall; Dundee House; University of Abertay; Overgate Centre; Olympia Leisure Centre.
- Edinburgh and Lothians: Usher Hall; Broughton St Mary’s Church; Harvey Nichols; Jenners; Voodoo Rooms; RBS St Andrew’s Square; Livingston Centre; St John’s Episcopalian Church; St Stephen’s Centre; Camera Obscura; St Andrew’s House; Victoria Quay; Teviot Row House; The Filmhouse; Ingleby Gallery/Regent Bridge; Apple Store.
- Fife: Fife House, Glenrothes.
- Glasgow: Emirates Arena; Heavy Horse (Andy Scott Sculpture, M8); St Margaret’s Newlands Scottish Episcopal Church; Mitchell Library; St Enoch Centre; The SSE Hydro; Glasgow Royal Concert Hall; Glasgow Science Centre; Glasgow Central Station; Delmonicas; Apple Store (Princes St).
- Inverness: Inverness Castle; Inverness Cathedral; Ness Bridge; Town House.
- Lanarkshire: Wishaw General Hospital; Motherwell Civic Centre and Theatre. Red ribbon flags will be flown at: North Lanarkshire and South Lanarkshire headquarters; University of West of Scotland; Airdrie Town Hall; Ravenscraig Sports Complex; New College Lanarkshire.
- Central Scotland: Perth Concert Hall, The Falkirk Wheel.
- Renfrewshire: ON-X (Linwood Sports and Community Centre)
- Shetland: Belmont House, Clickimin Broch, Fair Isle, Foula, Lerwick Town Hall, Mareel, Shetland Museum and Archives, Skerries.
- Stirling: Stirling Students’ Union.
- Western Isles: Western Isles College.