Buying and wearing a ribbon to support a charity is quite common these days, but probably few people realise it all started back in 1992 when the Red Ribbon was first worn by actor Jeremy Irons.

While a lot has changed since then, including better treatments to improve and prolong the lives of people with HIV, the virus is still with us.

There is still no cure and the number of people living with HIV/AIDS continues to increase, with an estimated 20 people each week being infected in Australia.

It may be that you do not come across a Red Ribbon on World AIDS Day.  Despite the efforts and energies of many volunteers, including me – it’s a very big country!

This year, in support of the AIDS Trust of Australia, Telstra is making virtual Red Ribbons available for purchase on mobile phones.

Wherever you are on World AIDS Day, you can participate, show your support and help make a difference.

Telstra customers with a compatible mobile phone may purchase a virtual Red Ribbon for $1.95 by sending the word RED to 13 76 63.

Better yet, you may purchase as many ribbons as you wish and send them as gifts to others;  gifts of caring, support and awareness.

All proceeds of this wonderful initiative will be passed to the AIDS Trust of Australia.

As a Telstra Ambassador and supporter of the AIDS Trust, I’m very proud that Telstra has been able to bring together its technology and the support of many of its people to help this important fundraising event.