DATE: Friday, March 24
For Immediate Release
San Francisco - The HIV/AIDS community has lost an important ally and beloved friend, one who will be deeply missed. Dame Elizabeth Taylor was one of the most inspirational figures in the early response to HIV/AIDS. She fought tirelessly for AIDS policy based on science, not ideology, for education and early public health intervention and for scientific research to identify effective antiretroviral treatments and a cure.
“Dame Elizabeth Taylor was one of a kind - not only did she light up the silver screen and business world, but she lit up the hearts of so many people living with HIV/AIDS,” said Chief Executive Officer Neil Giuliano. “Dame Elizabeth was a fierce advocate during an era when advocates were scarce and many public officials wouldn’t go near HIV/AIDS, and yet she refused to let them stick their heads in the sand and hide.”
As one of the first celebrities to lend her star status to the cause, Dame Elizabeth became a powerful and effective advocate for people living with HIV/AIDS and forged a model for advocacy that would be taken up by celebrities for decades to come. Her advocacy and fundraising efforts spanned the world and included several visits to San Francisco to headline the Macy’s Passport fundraiser for HIV/AIDS.
The impact of Dame Elizabeth’s death is felt deeply in San Francisco. She testified numerous times before Congress on behalf of the Ryan White CARE Act, which today is the largest federally funded program for people living with HIV/AIDS. Thousands of San Franciscans at risk for and living with HIV benefit from the CARE act by receiving treatment through its AIDS Drug Assistance Program or accessing medical services funded by the act—a testament to Dame Elizabeth’s dedication to fighting HIV/AIDS.
About San Francisco AIDS Foundation
San Francisco AIDS Foundation works to ensure the HIV epidemic ends in the same city where it began. By combining innovative, evidence-based programs for HIV prevention and care with bold policy initiatives focused on issues ranging from harm reduction to total health and wellness, the agency is making sustainable progress against HIV among populations most vulnerable to the disease. Established in 1982, San Francisco AIDS Foundation refuses to accept that HIV transmission is inevitable.