Screen Legend Elizabeth Taylor has died

Academy Award winner and screen legend Elizabeth Taylor has died at the age of 79. As we recently reported, Taylor has been hospitalized since early February at Cedar Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles for congestive heart failure, which was her cause of death. An explanation of congestive heart failure can be found in that article.

Instead, we’d like to briefly touch on Elizabeth Taylor’s role as an AIDS/HIV activist.  Taylor joined the cause of AIDS very early. In 1984, she organized and hosted the first AIDS fundraiser to benefit the AIDS Project Los Angeles (APLA) “Commitment to Life” event. While planning the event, Elizabeth learned that her friend and co-star, Rock Hudson, was dying of the disease.

In 1985,  Taylor joined with Dr. Mathilde Krim and a small group of physicians and scientists to form the American Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR). As amfAR’s Founding National Chairman, she used her celebrity to take the issue of HIV/AIDS to the mainstream media. She testified in front of Congress in support of the Ryan White CARE Act, and addressed the General Assembly of the United Nations on World AIDS Day.

In October 1991, Miss Taylor established The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation (ETAF).  With a focus on direct services for people living with AIDS, ETAF provides funding to AIDS service organizations throughout the world to assist those living with HIV and AIDS.

If you want to honor the memory of Elizabeth Taylor , you may do so either by making a contribution in her name to the foundation or by posting a personal message here http://www.facebook.com/pages/Elizabeth-Taylor-Tribute

Michele R. Berman, M.D. was Clinical Director of The Pediatric Center, a private practice on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. from 1988-2000, and was named Outstanding Washington Physician by Washingtonian Magazine in 1999. She was a medical internet pioneer having established one of the first medical practice websites in 1997. Dr. Berman also authored a monthly column for Washington Parent Magazine.

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