The red ribbon -“ the international symbol of HIV/AIDS support and awareness, first debuted at the 1991 Tony Awards -“ is set to go virtual this World AIDS Day. For the first time, mobile phone users will be able to get a red ribbon image downloaded to their mobile phone. Organised by the AIDS Council of NSW and the company, the downloaded image costs $3.50, and funds raised will help support ACON services for people living with HIV/AIDS.

We’ve used our mobile phones to evict from the Big Brother house, to vote for our favourite Australian Idol and now we can use them to buy a red ribbon and raise money for people living with HIV/AIDS, said ACON president Adrian Lovney. There are now more people living with HIV/AIDS in NSW than ever before and this puts an enormous demand on our advocacy, care and support services. We need your help to continue providing these services and to continue our efforts in HIV prevention, especially at a time when HIV is on the rise in NSW.

If you have a Nokia mobile phone, simply SMS REDRIBBON 3572 to 188 74 40 and if you have an Ericsson or an Alcatel phone, SMS REDRIBBON 8587 to the same number.

Of course, actual real-life, non-virtual red ribbons will still be available for purchase from ACON volunteers on Friday 28 November, Saturday 29 November and Monday 1 December, World AIDS Day. An ACON spokesperson reiterated last week’s call for volunteers to help sell the red ribbons. People interested in doing so can contact ACON on 9206 2024 or email

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