Sat, Jun 15, 2019 - Page 14 News List

Vienna bids farewell to iconic Life Ball AIDS fundraiser
再見傳奇「生命舞會」 維也納愛滋募款舞會謝幕

Artists wait prior to their performance during the 26th “Life Ball” AIDS charity event on June 8 at Vienna’s City hall.

Photo: AFP

The Austrian capital of Vienna bade farewell to the iconic Life Ball AIDS charity fundraiser Saturday last week as its extravagant costumes and celebrity guests took over the city’s town hall for the last time.

Launched by former make-up artist Gery Keszler, among others, the ball has raised around 30 million euros (US$34 million) for anti-AIDS causes within Austria and abroad since its first edition in 1993, organizers say. Keszler announced last month that this year’s edition of the ball would be the last due to a lack of funding.

Rooted firmly in the activism of Vienna’s own LGBT community, the Life Ball has become one of the world’s biggest AIDS charity events over the past three decades, attracting up to 45,000 guests and on-lookers a year.

In an emotional speech at the end of the opening ceremony, Keszler insisted he and his colleagues had had no choice but to make this year’s edition the very last.

Organizers say the ball is no longer viable as, paradoxically, advances in treatment and prognosis for people with HIV and AIDS have meant fewer donors are willing to contribute to such causes.

However, many guests on the red carpet on Saturday said they hoped that the Ball could continue in some form and Vienna city authorities haven’t ruled out a possible revival of the event at some point in the future. Keszler said he would discuss in the coming months if “something positive can be grown out of the heritage of the Life Ball.”

AIDS, or the Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome, is the most advanced stage of infection with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), which targets the immune system. The World Health Organization estimated that around 36.9 million people were living with HIV at the end of 2017, with 1.8 million people newly infected that year and 940,000 HIV-related deaths.


穿著華麗誇張服飾的扮裝藝人和名人貴客,上週六最後一次步入維也納市政廳,向奧地利首都這場極具指標性的愛滋病慈善募款大會「Life Ball」(生命舞會)珍重道別。








This story has been viewed 2128 times.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top