Television presenter Peter Everett will be one of thousands of people standing at bus stops, train stations, on street corners and at bars and clubs selling red ribbons for ACON come December 1.
But his motivation will be steeped in memory, not just out of a desire to give back to his community on World AIDS Day.
“I had so many friends die of AIDS over the years. I remember when people would just disappear, they would either go home to die with family or go into the hospice and never be seen again,” he said.
“And people need to still be aware today. We’ve got to keep up the funding so a cure can be found.”
Everett, who hosts Channel 10’s Ready, Steady Cook each weekday, said he was astounded at the number of his younger friends who still don’t wear condoms.
“They say they don’t like them and think that if they get HIV they can just take medication.
“It is why we need to keep the safe-sex message and the reasons for it out there all the time. People just can’t afford to not wear condoms. It is their lives they are playing with.”
This year will be the third year Everett has volunteered to sell red ribbons on World AIDS Day in Sydney.
“This is about remembering and giving back,” he said.
“It costs nothing to buy a ribbon — it is just the change from your pocket, that’s all, and who can’t afford that?”
This year, as well as being able to buy a red ribbon from an outlet or street vendor, you can download a mobile red ribbon to your phone and send it to friends around the world.
The Telstra red ribbon allows people who are unable to get to a ribbon vendor to still do their bit for the cause.
Attached to the specially designed image of a red ribbon is a brief description of its history and significance, providing new opportunities to raise awareness.
The ribbons cost $1.95 for Telstra users and slightly more for non-Telstra users.
info: To sell or buy red ribbons visit www.redribbonday.org.au To download a red ribbon to your phone text RED to 13 76 63 and follow the instructions.
Peter Everett … ‘it costs nothing to buy a ribbon’. Photo: Ann-Marie Calilhanna