A Pageant with a Purpose

Last week, Botswana played host to a unique type of beauty pageant. Twelve competitors from around the nation danced, smiled, and glamorized in the 5th annual Miss HIV Stigma Free Pageant, designed to showcase the fact that even with the AIDS virus, life goes on. Botswana, regarded as one of the most progressive African nations in its handling of the AIDS crisis, views the culture of shame and disgrace as a hindrance in the fight to stop the virus' spread. The 12 contestants, all beautiful and unashamed, exhibit an optimistic portrait of HIV-positive life – in a continent where governmental and societal denial of AIDS allows the outbreak to grow. All participants work for AIDS awareness in their nation, around Africa, and in other continents as well. Botswana's openness is a necessary model for other nations struggling with the AIDS epidemic and its complex societal side-effects. –YaleGlobal

A Pageant with a Purpose

These beauties dance, smile and pose on the catwalk – and they all live with HIV
Simon Robinson
Monday, February 28, 2005

Click here for the original article on the TIME Europe website.

©TIME. From the March 07, 2005 issue of TIME Europe magazine.

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