World Aids Day hits record numbers

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

Nearly 5 million people pledged their support to the 2005 World Aids Day, the National AIDS Trust revealed today.

Record numbers of advocates logged onto in the five weeks since the event, double the 2004 figures.

The objective of NAT’s Wise up and Wear It campaign was to encourage people to get the facts about HIV and wear a Red Ribbon. Site visitors received facts about HIV and World AIDS Day events, and could buy and download a Red Ribbon. Over two hundred people submitted personal accounts including Lorraine Kelly and Richard Branson

The campaign resulted in 27,000 Virtual Red Ribbons being worn on websites, PCs and email signatures, 10,000 more than the previous year. These included websites such as Orange, Channel 4, and Google, plus 10, 000 student PCs and over 8,000 blogs.

For the first time in recent years, Red Ribbons were also widely available across the country, via collection boxes in Carphone Warehouse outlets and selected Fire Brigades, including all 111 fire stations in London.

Deborah Jack, chief executive of the National AIDS Trust said: “We are encouraged by the number of people who were prompted on World AIDS Day to get the facts about HIV and show their support by wearing a Red Ribbon.

“We intend to keep the pressure up on governments and organisations that can make a difference throughout the year.”

“We must not let HIV and AIDS be forgotten, either in the UK or internationally.”

The National AIDS Trust aim to prevent the spread of HIV and AIDS, ensure people living with HIV have access to treatment and care, and eradicate HIV-related stigma and discrimination.