Dame Elizabeth Taylor is celebrated for many things. Her undeniable talent and stunning beauty made her famous, her unapologetic thirst for life made her infamous, and her pioneering efforts in AIDS awareness has made her a true icon in the world of HIV activism. Although the raven-haired beauty is no longer living, her powerful legacy lives on through the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation. This year, her resounding presence will be felt once again as ETAF serves as the presenting sponsor for AIDSwatch 2016.
AIDSwatch is the largest constituent-based national advocacy event where HIV-positive people and their allies meet with members of Congress to educate them on important issues regarding HIV and AIDS. The event, which takes place February 29 through March 1, is also made possible thanks to a partnership between AIDS United, Treatment Access Expansion Project, and the US People Living With HIV Caucus.
“The work that AIDSWatch does to elevate the voices of people living with and affected by HIV is crucial, and very much aligned with Elizabeth Taylor’s passionate approach. She used her enormous platform to advocate for those whose voices were being ignored, just as AIDSWatch is doing today,” Joel Goldman, managing director of ETAF said in a press release. “[The foundation] is thrilled to be the Presenting Sponsor for the second time and to see the impact of this exciting event continue to grow.”
Organizers acknowledge the important advancements made in treatment, improved access to care through health reform, and new prevention methods such as the use of Truvada as PrEP. But they want Congress to address issues like modernizing the Ryan White Care Act, removing the ban on syringe exchange programs, and reforming unjust HIV-criminalization laws.
Registration and scholarship opportunities are still available for those interested in taking part in this year’s AIDSwatch. More information at aidsunited.org/AIDSWatch.
"It's bad enough people are dying of AIDS, but no one should die of ignorance." – Elizabeth Taylor (Read more about her AIDS work and how her kids are carrying on her fight here).