The Red Ribbon Project
The Red Ribbon Project (RRP) started in 1996 with the goal of building HIV/AIDS awareness in the Eagle County community. As the organization evolved, the outreach expanded to include HIV/AIDS prevention strategies targeting youth. RRP impacts youth with powerful, strengths-based programs that inspire self-confidence and healthy decision making. For twenty-one years RRP has provided Youth Skills Building classes, free HIV testing, and educational resources to the Eagle County community. RRP's mission statement is to “promote healthier lives by empowering the community to reduce teenage pregnancy, HIV/AIDS and other STIs”.
The meaningful, collaborative relationships RRP has built with the school district, health and medical agencies, and youth serving organizations assures RRP’s comprehensive programming yet avoids duplication. TAB funds support the Free HIV Testing program. RRP is the only organization that provides FREE rapid HIV testing in Eagle County. Certified bilingual testers provide an FDA approved rapid HIV test that gives results in just 10 minutes. Annually RRP financially supports testing for approximately 130 to 150 people in Eagle County. Increasing numbers of those tested are Latino.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), rapid HIV antibody testing has increased the number of those tested who actually learn their results, as well as provides testing opportunities in non-medical facilities. An objective of RRP's Free HIV Testing program is to build awareness in the community about behaviors that put people at risk for HIV and other STIs. There is a counseling component of the program, and testers frequently link people who have symptoms for other STIs to appropriate care.