A new online initiative has launched to raise funds to fight HIV/AIDS. Starting August 26, the dotHIV Registry will make .hiv website addresses available to companies and organizations around the world, according to a dotHIV statement. A small donation will reach HIV/AIDS projects every time visitors click on a .hiv domain name.

The .hiv domain name is the first with a charitable purpose. For each click, dotHIV donates 0.1 cents. The micro-donations are free to users. Nongovernmental organizations and HIV/AIDS nonprofits will receive their .hiv addresses for free. The .hiv addresses are available for companies and other groups starting at $17 a month.

Both brands and users can continue to experience websites as before, because a .hiv domain name can be redirected to standard .com homepages. The German–based dotHIV Registry considers a .hiv address as a “digital red ribbon” that not only raises HIV/AIDS funds, but also awareness of the virus.

Community-based organizations in the Rwanda, South Africa, Turkey and the United States are the initial support recipients. Organizations worldwide will eventually be able to regularly apply for support from dotHIV. After applying, Internet users will be allowed to vote at click4life.hiv to determine the projects that receive support.

Groups launching a .hiv address include POZ, Keep a Child Alive, Amazon, Instagram, tumblr, LinkedIn, Samsung and BMW. Key Systems administrates domains for HIV/AIDS groups. Google helps implement the technical infrastructure of the micro-donations. Price Waterhouse Coopers provides financial accounting help.

The idea of dotHIV started at Hamburg–based thjnk, a creative agency that remains a founding partner. The dotHIV Registry was primarily financed with $1 million in loans with favorable conditions. The public Berlin Investment Bank, impact investor Tengelmann Social Ventures and 16 business “angels” also provided support.

To read the dotHIV statement, click here. To visit the dotHIV website, click here. To read an op-ed for POZ by dotHIV consultant Michael Bouldin, click here.