dotHIV, the new initiative that combines digital innovation and the concept and spirit of the Red Ribbon, began Tuesday. The Berlin-based organization will provide web addresses with the ending .hiv to companies and non-profits in an effort to raise awareness and funds for projects around the world working to prevent the transmission of HIV and end AIDS.
“Imagine simply using .hiv as you use .com. Each time you visit website.hiv, buy a ticket on movies.hiv, or shop at store.hiv, a small donation would reach HIV and AIDS projects,” said Carolin Silbernagl, co-founder of dotHIV and CEO of the TLD dotHIV Registry.
The unique, inbuilt micro-donation capability is the main innovation of .hiv domain names. Every time a user clicks on a .hiv website, dotHIV donates one cent, and thus releases funds to help support HIV projects across the globe. These micro-donations do not come at further expense to the user or the website owner.
For brands, the easiest way to use a .hiv domain name is to simply redirect visitors from website.hiv to their standard .com homepage. No need to run an extra website, the content remains the same, only now it has a social benefit. This “Digital Red Ribbon” not only helps generate web traffic but shows social responsibility as well as commitment to digital innovation. And it involves the website visitors: Every click on a .hiv domain is doing good.
“Beginning today we will stand with other TLDs like .com and .org. It will now be possible to click on .hiv addresses like amazon.hiv, gmhc.hiv and sport.hiv and make a difference in the fight against AIDS,” said Silbernagl. “A .hiv address is available for a starting price of $17 a month. This is not simply the right thing to do, it is a good investment as the money flows to projects that provide access to HIV medicaments. .hiv addresses save lives.”
The following is an FAQ via dotHIV.
Where does the money go?
dotHIV supports innovative projects that commit themselves to better access to life saving treatment and to projects that use new digital technologies for their work with HIV and AIDS. Our focus is on small, community-based organizations. Local initiatives know best what the needs of their populations are but often lack the resources to do what they need to as effectively as possible. Our initial projects are organizations in Rwanda, United States, Turkey, and South Africa.
In the future, HIV and AIDS organizations worldwide can apply for funds from dotHIV on a regular basis, which will then be voted for by the Internet community at click4life.hiv.
When does it start?
On August 26 2014, .hiv domain names will be available to website owners around the world and subsequently the first .hiv webpages go online. Alicia Keys’ HIV charity “Keep a Child Alive” will make the start with a .hiv address, the online retailer plus.de will launch plus.hiv, American AIDS-focused magazine POZ and ad agency thjnk with thjnk.hiv. Many other large brands such as Amazon, Instagram, tumblr, LinkedIn, Samsung, and BMW have already registered their .hiv domain.
A .hiv address is a good example of how to show support on World AIDS Day on December 1.
Non-governmental organizations and non-profits in the field of HIV and AIDS will receive their .hiv address for free.
The dotHIV Team
Carolin Silbernagl is co-founder of dotHIV and CEO of the TLD dotHIV Registry GmbH. She has a passion to see as many webpages as possible wear their Digital Red Ribbon. For five years she worked in the field of education giving students an understanding of founding and social entrepreneurship before she decided to give it a try herself. Since 2011, she has travelled around the globe four times in order to bring .hiv to life.
Ina von Rosenstiel is Managing Director of the dotHIV charitable organization. She brings many years of experience in the field of development aid and has worked in the field of Global Health on four continents. With dotHIV she wants to promote innovative projects with a long-dated impact, financed in a sustainable way through the sale of domains and thereby independent from governments.
dotHIV is small organization with a large network. Six employees, mainly based in Berlin, build the core of the initiative; however the success of dotHIV is mainly due to its supporters.
The idea of dotHIV started at thjnk, a creative agency based in Hamburg, Germany and it quickly evolved into more than just a campaigning idea. Today, the visionaries are engaged as a volunteer communications team and thjnk stands beside dotHIV as its founding partner and lead agency.
Countless service providers have helped dotHIV free of charge. The domain registrar Key Systems administrates domains for HIV-organizations at no cost. Google helps implement the technical infrastructure of the micro donations and the consultancy Price Waterhouse Coopers gave the organization’s financial accounting the final trim.
In order to bring the idea to life, dotHIV was financed with $1 million primarily through loans with favorable conditions. The public Berlin Investment Bank, impact investor Tengelmann Social Ventures and 16 business “Angels” have supported dotHIV by providing the necessary capital necessary for the realization of this ambitious social enterprise.