Pink ‘not invited’ to Life Ball

Pop star Pink will not attend the this year’s Life Ball, organisers of the Vienna AIDS charity event said today (Mon), dismissing claims made by newspaper Österreich.Gery Keszler, head organiser of the 17 July bash, said: “It pains me that four months before the Life Ball society reporting is reducing the importance of our most important fund-raising tool rather than supporting our work in the fight against HIV and Aids.”The Life Ball, which took place for the 17th time last May, began as a small Austrian charity initiative in 1993 that tried to create more respect for homosexuals in the community and has become one of the biggest Aids charity events in the world.It is also the only Aids event in the world to take place in a political building – Vienna City Hall.Singer Katy Perry, former US President Bill Clinton and actress Eva Longoria were the star guests last year, while singer Elton John has attended the Life Ball several times.Meanwhile, organisers of the International AIDS Conference to be held in Vienna later this year said the event’s focus would be on marginalised groups with the disease like drug addicts in Eastern Europe (EE).Michel Sidibe, head of UNAIDS, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, said recently that the conference would be held “for people without a voice”.Thousands of experts and people suffering from AIDS and HIV are expected to come to the city for the event set to take place from 18 to 23 July. “AIDS 2010” will kick off with the Life Ball at Vienna City Hall on 17 July.Sidibe said: “AIDS 2010’ will put a spotlight on rapidly growing HIV/AIDS epidemics in Eastern Europe fuelled primarily by unsafe injecting of drugs.”Organisers of the summit, which takes place every other year, said they had decided to hold the conference in Vienna to highlight the bad situation in EE. The Austrian capital is regarded as a “gateway” to the region.Statistics from 2007 showed that an estimated 33.2 million people were living with HIV around the world.Austrian authorities, meanwhile, have announced that 300 of the 520 people infected with the virus last year in Austria were Vienna residents.See for more information on the conference.