The .hiv gTLD has found a new home with Uniregistry agreeing to take over the reins and agreeing to continue the gTLD’s role in raising awareness and funds for HIV and AIDS causes. It is anticipated the takeover will be concluded prior to 1 December – World AIDS Day.
The .hiv gTLD made history in 2014 as the first open charitable TLD, dedicated to the global fight against AIDS. .hiv domain names are digital Red Ribbons for their owners, including global businesses like TED, Paulaner, Sixt, Gilead, community organ POZ, and tech magazine WIRED. These names help raise awareness around HIV and generate funds for verified HIV projects. The gTLD opens up a dedicated namespace that brings website owners together behind one goal: The end of AIDS.
With Uniregistry taking over management of the gTLD, the dotHIV charity will continue its work for .hiv and focus on community support. The creative agency thjnk from Hamburg, Germany, longstanding partner of the initiative, will continue to work on behalf of the .hiv TLD, exploring new and existing opportunities for social change.
The new gTLD found the going tough initially. The gTLD was put up for sale primarily due to not gaining the registrations anticipated at launch. However registrations have since been doing a better job at meeting projections and now stand at 565 according to nTLDstats.com. Then in April it was announced .hiv would be put up for auction with a reserve price of $200,000. Terms of the takeover have not been disclosed.
Registrations earn the registry $179 each, which is generally four to ten times that of other gTLDs. The gTLD also has a high rate of use with only 38 percent of .hiv domains parked, compared to around an average of 60 percent for other new gTLDs.
But with Uniregistry taking control, it is hoped that the economies of scale of operating a couple of dozen gTLDs will make it more profitable.
The gTLD raises money through an innovative micro-giving system, to help generate web traffic through visible social responsibility. This approach and its social mission has brought the gTLD universal support within the communities engaged in the fight against AIDS and over 400 clients.
“In its first year on the market, .hiv has proven that it triggers awareness and rallies new allies for the global AIDS response”, says dotHIV CEO Carolin Silbernagl. “The fundraising has led to tangible results as well. Being able to provide WE-ACTx for Hope, our partner organization in Rwanda, with the means to do their life-saving work is an amazing confirmation. Even better our belief that this is just the beginning.”
As a registry operator, Uniregistry launched to the public in 2014 and now operates 24 new domain name extensions. With its extensive registrar channel and deep understanding of the domain name market, Uniregistry intends to broaden the reach of the .hiv top-level domain, extending the influence of this first social cause TLD.
“By assuming the registry operations of .hiv, we are taking our core skills and putting them at the service of one of the most urgent challenges of humankind,” says Uniregistry’s Managing Director Frank Schilling. “The United Nations has reconfirmed the opportunities to end the global AIDS epidemic within our lifetime. At Uniregistry, we want to be a part of this ambitious endeavor.”
.hiv will maintain its charitable nature under its new ownership. “Of course, Uniregistry is a for-profit company. But with .hiv, we act as a social enterprise”, says Frank Schilling. “It is the social mission that will guide the operation of this special TLD.”