Manhattan skyscrapers to go red Thursday for AIDS awareness

If you notice a lot more red in the skyline Thursday, don’t worry: it’s all for a good cause.

The Empire State Building and seven other skyscrapers will be lit red Thursday night as part of the “Light Up New York” initiative that raises awareness for AIDS. Actress Isabella Rossellini will be leading the ceremony at the Empire State Building and said it was important to get New Yorkers involved with the fight against the disease.

“With a cure still out of reach, we must not lose sight of the fact [there are] many thousands of people living with, and affected by, HIV and AIDS in New York City,” she said in a statement.

Other buildings that will be lit Thursday include the New York Stock Exchange, the Bank of America Tower, the Time Warner Center at Columbus Circle, One Astor Plaza and the JP Morgan Chase building. The Bloomberg Tower and 7 World Trade Center began lighting their buildings red on Monday and will continue to do so until Sunday, the day of the annual AIDS Walk New York in Central Park.

Osvaldo Perdomo, a board member of the AIDS advocacy group GMHC, which is helping to organize the walk, said the skyline lighting was a one-of-a-kind way to promote the charity event.

“Given the community-driven nature of the AIDS Walk, it seemed fitting to open up the lighting tradition to everyone,” he said in a statement.