Chirping for world peace just won’t win a girl the crown anymore. SinceLeanza Cornett was dubbed Miss America 1993 with the first-ever AIDSplatform (education and prevention), some valiant pageant vixens havedolled up the virus into their cause du jour. With Uganda launchingAfrica’s second pageant for positive ladies this month, POZ marked themilestone by catching up with five of our favorite sash wearers to takethe pulse of their activism.

Name      Leanza Cornett
Title        Miss America 1993
Mission  The former Miss Florida testified before Congress and helped get AIDSeducation into classrooms. “A lot of activism was associated withoutrageous antics, but I was invited to speak at rotary clubs and gradeschools.”
Now        Cornett will be attending a Florida AIDS fundraiser this month—and hosting dog shows on the Animal Planet channel.

Name      Kate Shindle
Title        Miss America 1998
Mission   Miss Illinois advocated for needle exchange, taking her tiara tothe 1998 World AIDS confab. “I didn’t have anything to lose,” she saysof her battle to teach harm reduction. “Miss America can’t be voted outof office.”
Now        A Broadway actress, Shindle recently spoke up in home state New Jersey for much-needed needle exchanges.

Name      Natalie Glebova
Title        Miss Universe 2005
Mission  Glebova admits she was an AIDS novice before winning (theTrump-owned org assigns AIDS platforms). Now the Canadian ispassionate, even taking a public HIV test in South Africa. “This mighteven be my career.”
Now        After speaking at a November AIDS confab in Brazil, Glebova plans to open Russia’s eyes to HIV.

Name      Cynthia Leshomo
Title        Miss HIV Stigma-Free Botswana 2005
Mission  HIVer Leshomo beat out 11 other HIV positive beauties inFebruary, showing that HIV isn’t always the pits. “Some people are veryignorant—they complain that the pageant encourages people to getinfected.”
Now        Leshomo has hosted HIV powwows forschoolchildren and met with the president. She plans to educate “untilthe day I die.”

Name      Tara Burns
Title        Miss Tennessee 2005
Mission   A volunteer with a Nashville ASO, Burns is this year’s only MissAmerica contestant with an AIDS platform. “After doing communityservice,
I was hit [with the fact] that HIV awareness is not where it should be in America.”
Now       Burns is cochairing Nashville’s AIDS Walk and prepping tooutclass 50 other Miss America wannabes in January 2006.