THE BLOG
12/01/2014 04:55 pm ET Updated Jan 31, 2015

World AIDS Day and the Digital Red Ribbon

You may have heard about dotHIV or even better, you may have come across .hiv websites like poz.hiv and you might have wondered: What are these websites about? Who is the dotHIV Initiative? What is this digital Red Ribbon they are talking about?

With today being World AIDS Day, we thought it was the perfect time to talk to you about who we are, what we're doing and why we're doing it.

Firstly, we didn't just stumble across this idea - it has been years in the making. The founders of the dotHIV Initiative, which is a not-for-profit charitable organization thought "Why can't we use a global tool like a domain ending for something more important than just making money? Can't we use it to do something good?" Since then it's been a very long and rocky road to get where we are now with the first .hiv websites online and counting clicks for good... but we're happy we did it!

Our vision is to create a global, digital movement for those who care about HIV and who want to see the end of AIDS in our lifetime. The Red AIDS Ribbon is such a strong symbol. It stands for solidarity and the continuous efforts to raise awareness and funds for AIDS projects & research. We want to bring this tool into the digital age by using .hiv domain names as digital Red Ribbons and together create a global campaign for the end of AIDS! We want to raise awareness, create new funds and support those who are in the daily struggle with HIV and AIDS.

Awareness: Is there anything more truly global than the Internet? Let's use this medium for global HIV outreach. Every .hiv website we visit should function as a daily reminder that HIV is still a topic that can affect everyone, everywhere and about the reality that we could be the generation to bring an end to it. If you could visit your favorite website through a .hiv domain name - like google.hiv - and every time you do, you do something good, then why wouldn't you?

Funds: By selling .hiv domain names we are raising additional funds from those who may not be already supporting HIV. We are not drawing donations from other charitable efforts but creating new support and funding opportunities through unique channels and marketing activities. Ultimately we use these funds to support existing projects because those who already work in the field know what is needed the best!

Supporting those involved in the fight against AIDS: Every NGO working in the field of HIV and AIDS gets its .hiv website for free. We are working for the same purpose and we believe in uniting our efforts to end the AIDS epidemic! This is why we strive to establish strong partnerships and use funds to complement the work of well-established donors already embedded in the international HIV strategy.

Does it sound ambitious? It is! And we know we can't make this all happen on our own. We are no superheroes, just a small, passionate team with a big vision. So to see this achieved we need a movement: Many individuals, who share our vision, spreading the word, making their bosses, their favorite brands and every one else wear their digital Red Ribbon by making use of a .hiv domain name.

The dotHIV Initiative simply provides the platform. We give you the opportunity to show your support and solidarity by getting your own .hiv domain or using your influence as a global community of Internet users to get others involved. What are you going to do today to show your support on World AIDS Day? Visit us at click4life.hiv and show your support any way you can.