Entertainers Ricki-Lee Coulter and Marcia Hines are teaming up to support people with HIV as Red Ribbon Appeal ambassadors. The pair launched the appeal earlier this week ahead of World Aids Day on December 1. Street collectors will be out nationally to raise funds on Friday, November 30 and Saturday, December 1. You can also purchase ribbons at participating stores.

Hines, who has been a Red Ribbon ambassador for many years, will appear in TV ads on Foxtel-Austar and Network 10. Coulter, who was a Red Ribbon envoy for the first time last year, will appear in print ads, posters and online.

Hines described the personal impact HIV has had on her life.

“I’ve lost friends to HIV/AIDS and I have friends who are living with the virus,” she said.

“Right now there are almost 25,000 Australians living with HIV. When you take into account their partners, family, friends and carers, there are hundreds of thousands of people just here in Australia whose lives have been affected.

“And while there have been some important medical advances in recent years, many people with HIV are doing it tough. The Red Ribbon Appeal is an opportunity for us to help these people as well as support programs that prevent the spread of HIV in our community.”

Coulter said HIV had also affected her life, which was why she believed in encouraging people to become involved in fundraising and to increase awareness.

“I have close friends and colleagues who are living with HIV and I’m honoured and grateful to have this opportunity to encourage others to help out,” she said. “As a public figure, I feel it’s important to use my voice to shine a light on important issues and by being a part of the Red Ribbon Appeal I hope I can help raise awareness of HIV and help people see that this is a very serious issue that so many people of all ages are still facing.”

ACON CEO Nicolas Parkhill said World AIDS Day and the Red Ribbon Appeal provide an opportunity for Australians to re-engage with HIV as a health and social issue.

“By purchasing and wearing a red ribbon, by volunteering to sell ribbons on the street or in your workplace, or by attending a World AIDS Day event in your local area, you can help make a difference in the lives of people with HIV,” Parkhill said.

“Whatever your contribution, you’ll be helping to look after people in need as well as increasing awareness of HIV and the impact it has on people, families and our community.”

Check out Ricki Lee’s latest single ‘Burn It Down’ below:

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