March 24, 2011 - Geneva, Switzerland - It was with great sadness that the International AIDS Society (IAS) learnt of the death of the American Foundation for
AIDS Research's (amfAR's) Founding International Chairman, Dame Elizabeth Taylor.
From the very beginning of the epidemic, Ms. Taylor used her profile as a film star and beloved public figure to speak
out against the 'thunderous silence' surrounding AIDS; the stigma, discrimination, and delayed responses which hampered efforts to
respond effectively to the epidemic.
In 1985, Ms. Taylor joined with Dr. Mathilde Krim and a small group of physicians and scientists to form the American
Foundation for AIDS Research. As amfAR's Founding National Chairman, she became the new organization's principal spokesperson and
titular head. Ms. Taylor has played an instrumental role in both the US national and the global response to HIV and AIDS, and in
the struggle for evidence and experience to prevail over ignorance and fear. Fighting for policies based on fact and not
fear, for education, for early intervention and for scientific research, Ms. Taylor advocated for a science-based,
evidence-based approach to the epidemic, and was often a passionate voice of reason in the controversies that
have plagued the response to this epidemic.
Ms. Taylor dedicated many years of her life to the thousands of men, women, and children throughout the world who have
died of AIDS, or who are currently living with HIV. Her efforts will live on through amfAR and through The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation,
an organization started by Ms. Taylor in 1991 to support the provision of direct AIDS services and complement the research, education,
and advocacy programs supported by amfAR.
About the IAS
The International AIDS Society (IAS) is the world's leading independent association of HIV professionals, with over 19,000 members from more than 190 countries working at
all levels of the global response to AIDS. Our members include researchers from all disciplines, clinicians, public health and community practitioners on the frontlines
of the epidemic, as well as policy and programme planners. The IAS is the custodian of the biennial International AIDS Conference and lead organizer of the IAS
Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention, which will be held in Rome, Italy in July 2011. www.iasociety.org | http://www.ias2011.org
For more information about this release:
Sian Bowen (Geneva, Switzerland)
Senior Communications Manager, IAS
Tel: +41 22 710 0864
Lindsey Rodger (Geneva, Switzerland)
Communications and Media Officer,
Tel: +41 22 710 0822
"Reproduced with permission - International AIDS Society"
International AIDS Society