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Mark World AIDS Day

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All around the world today, historic buildings from The London Eye to the Empire State Building, Sydney Opera House and Paris’ City Hall have turned red.

According to the World Health Organisation there are 33.3 million people living with AIDS worldwide. There are more than 90,000 people living with HIV in the UK and it’s thought that over a quarter of these are undiagnosed. Investment in medical research is vital if we’re ever going to conquer the disease. Here are five ways you can support World AIDS Day or donate now at uk.virginmoneygiving.com.

Celeb Twitter boycott

Prolific Tweeting celebrities such as Lady Gaga, Kim Kardashian, Justin Timberlake and Usher are logging off their social networking sites and won’t sign-on again until $1 million (around £640,000) is raised. They’re supporting The Digital Life Sacrifice for Alicia Keys’ Keep A Child Alive charity. Look out for celebrity’s ‘last tweet and testament’ videos on the site and advertisements of them in coffins around the world.

Elton takes charge

Pick up a copy of The Independent and its sister paper i today as Sir Elton John will be guest editor to recognise World AIDS Day. Proceeds from the day’s circulation revenue will go towards Elton John AIDS Foundation. He has reportedly asked his famous friends Bill Clinton, Elizabeth Taylor and Kanye West to contribute.

Rankin exhibition at City Hall

Famed photographer Rankin has a very special exhibition running at London’s City Hall to mark World AIDS Day. The ‘Be An Activist’ exhibition is free and is a range of portraits and stories of HIV positive Londoners. Did you know that almost half of people living with HIV in the UK live in London? It was opened on Monday by Mayor Boris Johnson and runs until Dec 10. Johnson is working with HIV ambassador Annie Lennox, who features in the exhibition, to raise awareness and improve attitudes around HIV and sexual health, particularly amongst young people.

Wear your red ribbon

The red ribbon is an international symbol that shows support for people with HIV and AIDS. Wearing one is a simple way to raise awareness and donate a little – it all helps. You can buy yours on the high street, at your local MAC store and online.

MAC it up

MAC has been raising money for AIDS sufferers since 1994 when they launched Viva Glam. It’s range of limited edition cosmetics (usually a new lipstick) that raises money for women, men and children everywhere affected by HIV and AIDS. The latest range was launched by singers Cyndi Lauper and Lady Gaga with a range of glamorous lipsticks, lip glasses and lip shaped make-up bags. Visit maccosmetics.co.uk for more information.

Picture Credit: MAC AIDS Fund Viva Glam ‘From Our Lips’ campaign

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