Monday, February 28, 2005

finally, a beauty pageant that's not a load of crap

Every once in a while, usually when I start to get really jaded, a story comes around that reminds me that there are some decent companies and governments in the world.

Beauty Pageant to Choose Miss HIV
By Peter Apps

GABORONE (Reuters) - There is a catwalk banquet, hordes of journalists, traditional dancing and time-consuming hair styling -- but at Botswana's beauty pageant every competitor must be HIV (news - web sites) positive...

Largest global diamond producer Botswana has one of the highest HIV rates in the world with an estimated third of the population infected.

The government is using its mineral wealth to provide life prolonging anti-retroviral drugs -- but many do not know their HIV status or are unwilling to come forward for treatment. Organizers say the pageant aims to tackle that stigma...

Read the whole story here

After a quick Google search, Botswana isn't a nation that exports war diamonds, it's considered a reasonably good model of diamond mining. So buy that sparkly thing if you want, tell DeBeers they can keep their diamonds forever, and buy a nice Botswanan diamond. You'll be funding somebody's HIV treatments while you're at it. You could do worse.

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