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Miss Universe Heads Campaigns Against AIDS
From El Diario

By Jose Acosta

The Miss Universe 2003, Amelia Vega, participated yesterday in Washington Heights on the panel named “AIDS in the Dominican Community”, as part of her campaign to educate on this terrible illness.

When presenting the most beautiful woman in the world, the congressman Charles Rangel said that while Vega could choose among a diverse group of topics to talk about, she chose the topic of AIDS, which he deemed “very sensible.”

“What can you do to protect yourself and your community?” will be one of the topics Vega will speak on, according to the congressman.

For her part, Miss Universe, Amelia Vega greeted the Dominican community and said that she felt very proud to be able to use her voice for something positive like the AIDS prevention campaign she will carry out in 25 countries.

During the event, the Councilman Miguel Martinez gave Vega a proclamation on the part of the Municipal Council: “for your beauty, your courage, and for representing all Latinos.”

“Amelia Vega has had the courage to choose a topic as difficult as AIDS. She will work not only in prevention but also in order that everyone becomes aware of the illness”, said Martinez.
For his part, the Assemblyman Adriano Espaillat said that Miss Universe was in the community like an ambassador of the world, “touching a topic that she has emphasized as important to her, like AIDS.”

“Because AIDS has grave consequences in the world, but particularly in the Dominican Republic, I believe that this is a very important topic that she can develop in order to try to get help in order to resolve the problem in the Dominican Republic and other countries in the world”, said Espaillat.

Other participants in the event included Moisés Pérez, the Executive Director of the Dominican Alliance and Rosita Romero, the Director of the Center for Development for Dominican Women.
According to the event speakers, 3 out of every 100 Dominicans on the island lives with AIDS. The illness claimed the lives of 7,800 Dominicans this past year, leaving 33 thousand infected orphans.

Translated from Spanish by Charlotte Triggs.

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