Paris auction sparks hope for African HIV women

25th November 2004, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Nov 25 (AFP) - Nearly 40 top world fashion designers from Jean Paul Gaultier to Calvin Klein and John Galliano have turned their creative talents to decorating a light bulb in support of South African women living with HIV/AIDS.

PARIS, Nov 25 (AFP) - Nearly 40 top world fashion designers from Jean Paul Gaultier to Calvin Klein and John Galliano have turned their creative talents to decorating a light bulb in support of South African women living with HIV/AIDS.

Ahead of World AIDS Day on December 1, leading figures from the fashion world have come together to design the "Ithemba" light bulbs, and the designs and prototypes will go under the hammer on November 29 in Paris.

"Ithemba" means "hope" in Xhosa, one of the languages spoken in South Africa where about 4.8 million people, or 22 percent of adults, were living with HIV and AIDS, the highest number in the world, according to UN figures for 2003.

The "Fashion Designs Hope" auction will enable the "Dessine l'Espoir" association to continue projects in Africa to finance anti-retroviral treatments and psychological support for people with the disease.

Some of the designer light bulbs will then go on sale in certain boutiques and stores, made by HIV positive women from the townships surrounding Cape Town in the south of the country.

So far the project has given more than 30 women a regular income, and more than 30,000 light bulbs have been produced.

The auction takes place at the Grand Hotel in central Paris. Other designers involved include Philippe Starck and Sonia Rykiel.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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