12 women are competing against each other in a bid to win a beauty contest with a difference - to walk away with the Miss HIV Stigma Free title. Gaborone, the capital of African state Botswana, is playing host to the pageant.

Ironically, Botswana is the worlds largest diamond producer, and yet also has one of the highest HIV rates. One third of the countries population is believed to be infected and authorities want to encourage the use of anti-retroviral drugs.

British bank Barclays is sponsoring the event which is being welcomed by AIDS groups because of the way in which it is expected to remove the stigma attached to HIV.