NEW YORK -- Joanna Angel's BurningAngel will auction off one of its girls for an AIDS charity event Saturday in New York City on Feb. 28, at Hell Gate Social, 12-21 Astoria Blvd.

Hell Gate Social will be the site of a bachelor/bachelorette auction and raffle to help raise money for amfAR, the Foundation for AIDS Research. BurningAngel girl Nicola, a 21-year-old pre-med student from Philadelphia, will be one of the bachelorettes on the block.

"Only through education, awareness and research can we combat the issue of HIV and AIDS, and for this reason I am a proud participant of this wonderful fundraising event," said Nicola.

All proceeds from the auction are going to amfAR, the Foundation for AIDS Research.

"I'm honored that my company is a part of this charity," said Joanna Angel. "Nicola is a smart, energetic and beautiful girl. The highest bidder is in for a treat."

For more on BurningAngel, visit the website.

Meanwhile, Friends of BurningAngel are taking a 13-day trek through Northern Thailand, hosted by amfAR to raise funds for AIDS awareness and HIV and AIDS in Southeast Asia, as well as worldwide.

Billed as a "physical challenge fundraising event," the journey will include trekking across Thailand's ancient trade route, The Old Elephant Trail.

The group will visit Bangkok and Chiang Mai, tour temples and villages, and learn about amfAR's efforts to combat the AIDS crisis in Thailand through education, clinics, hospitals and research institutions.

Since its formation in 1985, the Foundation for AIDS Research has invested $260 million and has awarded grants to more than 2,000 research teams worldwide. Its achievements include pioneering the research that led to the use of antiretroviral drugs to block mother-to-infant HIV transmission, bringing treatment to African nations and forming a 17,000-person observational database following the course of HIV before and after treatment in the United States.

The Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS estimates that there are now 40 million people living with HIV or AIDS worldwide. Most don't know they carry HIV and may be spreading the virus to others. In Thailand, at least 1 million people have become HIV-positive and more than 400,000 have died from AIDS in the last 20 years, but that number doesn't represent the true tragedy, due to secrecy and brutality surrounding the illegal sex-worker industry. However, the World Bank estimates that, without the country's proactive anti-HIV campaigns (including amfAR's extensive efforts), 7.7 million more Thais would have become infected.

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