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TAYLOR--Elizabeth. amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, mourns the loss of its Founding International Chairman and cherished friend, Dame Elizabeth Taylor. As one of the earliest and most passionate advocates for people living with HIV/AIDS, Dame Elizabeth drew worldwide attention to the epidemic and helped raise millions of dollars for AIDS research. Spurred by anger at official inaction, undeterred by the stigma attached to AIDS, and above all motivated by her boundless compassion for those who were suffering, she did more in the early years of the epidemic than any other prominent figure to change the world's view of AIDS and those affected by it. Much of Dame Elizabeth's early work with amfAR involved speaking out about the realities of HIV/AIDS and lobbying aggressively for increased federal funds for research, education, treatment, and care. "I will not be silenced and I will not give up and I will not be ignored," she once declared, and her determination brought hope to millions. Whether she was visiting patients in the hospital, headlining an amfAR benefit, or addressing the United Nations on the need for worldwide action, Dame Elizabeth always impressed those around her with her grace, dignity, and intelligence. For more than two decades she remained an active and visible leader in the fight against AIDS, chairing many of amfAR's successful Cinema Against AIDS benefits. While we grieve her passing, the board of trustees and staff of amfAR will remember and honor Elizabeth Taylor for inspiring us to continue working for an end to this devastating epidemic. We extend our deepest sympathy to Dame Elizabeth's family. Kenneth Cole, Chairman of the Board Mathilde Krim, Ph.D., Founding Chairman Kevin Robert Frost, CEO amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research

Published in The New York Times on Mar. 24, 2011
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