Stars bid to end Aids plight

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Stars bid to end Aids plight

Sharon Stone and the Duchess of York led a glamorous line-up of stars at a charity event to raise money for Aids research.

The annual occasion, which coincides with the Cannes Film Festival in the South of France, last year raised US 2 million (A£1.1 million) for Aids research.

A host of celebrities, including comic Robin Williams, former Wimbledon champion Boris Becker, director Sofia Coppola and designer John Galliano were also on the guest list.
The dinner and auction is held every year by amfAR (the American Federation for Aids Research) which has invested nearly US 250 million (A£133 million) in its Aids prevention, research and treatment programme since 1985.

Basic Instinct star Stone was conducting the auction with movie boss Harvey Weinstein.

She said: "There are now 14 million people with the illness. We can't stop until we have a vaccine and I do believe that we can find those answers.

"We have already raised US 2 million in ticket sales and a hundred people are still on the waiting list for tonight. Sales have gone through the roof."

The actress, who wore a stunning white gown, said that she had "prayed" before the event that it would achieve its aim of helping the fight against Aids.

The Duchess of York, Sarah Ferguson, who wore a long blue dress said: "I am delighted to be here. Without them (amfAR) we couldn't make a dent. US 250 million in 21 years is a lot of money."

Duran Duran star Nick Rhodes, also representing Britain, said of the auction: "I didn't bring any money but I'll see what's on offer."

Williams joked: "I'd like to bid for the car but I might have to check whether that's OK at home first."

David Furnish was also at the event but without his partner Sir Elton John, who had a sore throat. He said: "The problem is getting worse not better and the fight against Aids is getting harder and harder because of politics and religion.
Awareness is particularly important, I have a lot of friends in the room and I will encourage them to dig deep into their pocket. The tiniest bit of money can make a huge difference."

Other stars included new Carry On actress Victoria Silvstedt, Samuel L Jackson, model Petra Nemcova, actress Ziyi Zhang, and Faye Dunaway, who said: "People don't think it's such a stylish cause anymore because of the genocide going on but we have to be persistent."

Courtesy This is London