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Elton John, actresses Sharon Stone, Kim Cattrall, Rose McGowan, model Linda Evangelista and about 45,000 aliens attended the 16th annual Life Ball last weekend in Vienna, Austria. Many dressed in space costumes to promote this year’s theme of ‘embracing the alien’ in the fight against HIV and AIDS.

Organised by Aids Life, the annual benefit gala raises funds for HIV/AIDS charities offering relief projects and, through the Elton John AIDS Foundation and the American Foundation for AIDS Research (AMFAR), to international organizations that support the world’s worst affected areas.

After speeches and a fashion show, the party of 4000 ticket-holders headed inside to Vienna City Hall’s ballrooms and dance floors for a modern version of the traditional Viennese Ball and a full night of festivities. The fashion show this year focused on male-female relationships as opposed to last year’s sensual gay clichés.

Life Ball organizer Gery Keszler’s message is that heterosexuals need to be more aware of the dangers regarding HIV/AIDS.

Kim Cattrall supported this notion with: “Do it like Samantha, always have a condom with you,” referring to her Sex and the City character.

Last year’s Ball, celebrating open-mindedness and diversity in the world, raised €1.2 million. This year’s event, fostering humanity, tolerance and understanding and against ignorance and prejudice, was hoping to beat that record.

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