South Africa, which has the world’s largest HIV caseload, on Saturday unveiled a 1.5 kilometre (0.9 miles) long AIDS ribbon in Johannesburg, beating a record of one kilometre previously held by India.
Created from over 6,000 red T-shirts pinned together, the ribbon was rolled out starting at the Constitution Hill, which houses the country’s Constitutional Court, and unfurled through the streets of Braamfontein.
The ribbon is seen as a “visual symbol of the country’s commitment to eradicating HIV/AIDS” in a country where six of the 51.8 million inhabitants live with the virus.
“Because of this event we are going to get more awareness,” said one of the organisers, Amanda Blankfield of Afrika Tikkun, a health and education NGO.
She said the choice of the venue was “because the Constitution Hill is all about human rights.”
South Africa’s organisers will submit aerial photographs to the Guinness World Records for verification.
Despite being home to the world’s largest population of people living with HIV and its biggest consumer of anti-retroviral (ARV) drugs, about a fifth of the world market, South Africa is still battling with stigma around the disease.