Elizabeth Taylor’s Legacy Honored Through HIV/AIDS Advocacy Event
WASHINGTON, D.C. (October 22, 2015) – AIDSWatch organizers are thrilled to announce The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation (ETAF) as Presenting Sponsor for AIDSWatch 2016. AIDSWatch, the largest constituent-based HIV advocacy event in the U.S., will bring hundreds of HIV advocates to Washington, D.C. from across the country to educate Congress about the policies and resources needed to end the HIV epidemic. In tribute to Elizabeth Taylor’s legacy as an activist in the fight against HIV/AIDS, ETAF is named presenting sponsor and is contributing $100,000 to the event, which is organized by the Treatment Access Expansion Project (TAEP), AIDS United and the US People Living with HIV Caucus. AIDSWatch 2016 will take place February 29 – March 1, 2016, in Washington, D.C.
At a time when we knew little about HIV, Elizabeth Taylor worked tirelessly to build awareness of the disease and raise much-needed funding to support research, treatment and care. Her 1986 testimony in support of the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program helped pave the way for broad bi-partisan support and raise crucial awareness of the issue across the nation and world.
Thanks to new advances in treatment, improved access to care through health reform and new prevention technology that includes Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP), the end of AIDS is finally in sight. However, success in this battle will depend on key legislative efforts that include ongoing support and modernization of the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program, removing the ban on the use of federal funds for syringe exchange programs, ensuring funding and support for comprehensive sexual health education and addressing unjust HIV-criminalization laws across the United States. The need for advocacy on these issues is as important today as ever.
“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,” said Joel Goldman, Managing Director of The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation. “ETAF is thrilled to be the Presenting Sponsor for the second time and to see the impact of this exciting event continue to grow.”
Last year, AIDSWatch brought together almost 400 advocates from 30 states, Puerto Rico and DC to learn about HIV policy, celebrate our communities’ success, and to meet with over 220 Members of Congress to educate them about important issues to people living with and impacted by HIV in the United States. Together, participants represented states that account for 92% of the current U.S. epidemic.
The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation’s commitment to AIDSWatch enables organizers to continue the legacy of Dame Elizabeth Taylor’s advocacy and build upon the success and impact of the event. Registration, scholarship application process and more information can be accessed at www.aidsunited.org/AIDSWatch.
ABOUT AIDSWATCH 2016 – AIDSWatch provides participants with current knowledge on the state of HIV/AIDS research, prevention, treatment and important policy developments. Participants are trained in effective advocacy skills, and are coached on how best to share this information with policymakers and their community. After training, participants meet Members of Congress to share their personal stories about the impact of current policies in their community, highlight the importance of HIV as an issue to their constituents and present a face to the issue.
ABOUT THE ELIZABETH TAYLOR AIDS FOUNDATION – Elizabeth Taylor established The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation (ETAF) in 1991 to support organizations delivering direct care and services to people living with HIV and AIDS, often to the most marginalized populations. Today, ETAF also provides funding for HIV prevention education and advocacy programs throughout the world, including existing organizations creating new and innovative techniques that help spread awareness of HIV prevention and treatment to targeted communities. To learn more or to make a donation please visit www.etaf.org.