One of London mayor-elect Matt Brown's first official duties came Monday morning as he received a symbolic red scarf to mark World AIDS Day.

More than a thousand red scarves have been made by volunteers in London - where the Red Scarf Project started three years ago - and the initiative has spread to other communities.

It draws attention to people living with AIDS and HIV and the need to find a cure.

The campaign was launched by the Regional HIV/AIDS Connection.

Executive director Brian Lester, who presented the scarf, said in a statement there are many stories about the impact of HIV/AIDS behind the scarf.

"It is a major issue affecting people from all walks of life, including many who live in poverty. We, at Regional HIV/AIDS Connection, are very grateful when community leaders like Mayor-elect Brown take a moment - on such a momentous day - to recognize this."

Brown added "I am pleased to show my support for World AIDS Day. Not only is there major AIDS research taking place in our city, but London is also the hub of HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment and support for the region."

Despite improvements in treatment, there is still no cure.

The number of people who have died of aids in the last 30 years is greater than the population of Canada.