Elizabeth Taylor would be ‘horrified’ at HIV levels in gay men today, granddaughter says
Elizabeth Taylor’s granddaughter has said that the late actress and AIDS campaigner would be “horrified” if she saw the modern levels of HIV.
The gay icon championed HIV/AIDS charities from the height of the crisis, founding the American Foundation for AIDS Research in 1985, and The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation in 1991.
However, the granddaughter of the ‘Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?’ star, who passed away in 2011, has lamented the lack of progress on the issue.
Naomi deLuce Wilding told the Telegraph: “She was a very intuitive woman and when she saw that people, friends of hers and fellow actors, were being stigmatized.
“She recognized an opportunity to use her voice and fame to speak up for those who were being discriminated against.”
Asked whether her grandmother would be pleased to see modern progress, Ms Wilding said: “Ultimately I don’t think so.
“If she were to hear that the highest rate of infection is still in young people aged between 24-35, and in particular amongst young gay men, even in this country, she would be horrified.
“A real complacency has set in and even before she died, when my grandmother was pretty ill, she was horrified to see that. Sadly I don’t think she had the strength to say what she really felt at that point.”
Ms Wilding – who continues to fundraise with the ETAF, said: “Our grandmother never asked us to follow in her footsteps, especially not as actors, but not even in terms of continuing her work for HIV/AIDS after her death.
“She taught us by example to help others.”