My World AIDS Day Inspiration: Elizabeth Taylor
November 30, 2012
December 1st is World AIDS Day, a time for us to remember all of the people who have been lost to AIDS, recognize all the progress that has been made and acknowledge that there are still miles to go.
I first became interested in the fight to end HIV/AIDS about two years ago, when my love for movies led me to learn more about one of my favorite actresses: Elizabeth Taylor. When the HIV/AIDS epidemic first broke out, many people were unwilling to talk about it because AIDS first affected gay men and homophobia was common. Celebrities and politicians were being told to keep quiet. Elizabeth Taylor, realizing that this was wrong, became one of the first celebrities to speak up. But she didn’t stop there. She later went to Congress to lobby for the Ryan White Care Act, which provided federal help to people with AIDS. She donated money to AIDS organizations and founded the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation and co-founded the American Foundation for AIDS Research, more commonly known as amFAR. Both of these organizations use their money to help prevent HIV, conduct AIDS research and develop treatments for AIDS patients.
This year’s World AIDS Day theme is “I am my brother’s/sister’s keeper.” Elizabeth Taylor exemplified this theme to the fullest. Although she never had HIV, she did everything in her power to educate people about safer sex and HIV/AIDS, as well as raise money to help find a cure. She passed away last year, but her legacy lives on. It reminds us that we all can do our part to prevent the spread of HIV and help those who are living with HIV/AIDS.