AIDS 2018!

AIDS2018!

Amsterdam, Netherlands

“The fight against AIDS is not, and must never be, a fight against other people. It is a fight of human beings against a virus.”
– Elizabeth Taylor in Amsterdam at the 8th International AIDS Conference 1992.

Following the path of our founder, this past July, ETAF sent a delegation including Elizabeth Taylor’s grandchildren: Laela Wilding, Naomi Wilding, Quinn Tivey, Ms. Taylor’s Estate Co-Trustee: Tim Mendelson, ETAF Ambassador: Omar Sharif Jr. and ETAF’s Program Coordinator: Zakk Marquez. Our team joined over 15,000 folks from all over the world in Amsterdam for the 22nd International AIDS Conference: AIDS2018. Since 1985, this global event has facilitated a profound blending of science and activism, young experts and veterans, and reflections and celebrations of our progress and next steps in the ongoing fight against HIV and AIDS.

Photo by: Firooz Zahedi

AIDS2018 proved to be an incredible full-circle moment for ETAF and for Ms. Taylor’s three grandchildren, Laela, Naomi, and Quinn who lent their time, energy, and expertise to represent their grandmother in front of thousands, to march alongside activists, and to embody ETAF’s work in ways which resonated with the global AIDS community.

From Left to Right: Laela, Naomi, and Quinn prepare to cut the ribbon at the official Opening Ceremony of the AIDS2018 Global Village.

From the Opening Ceremony to youth-centered satellite sessions to the Closing Ceremony, our team was engaged every single day.

To kick off the week, the Mayor of Amsterdam, Femke Helsema, introduced Laela, Naomi, and Quinn who ceremoniously cut the ribbon which officially opened the Global Village, a robust space dedicated to satellite sessions, networking zones, art exhibits, and youth activations.

In alignment with ETAF’s advocacy focus on HIV criminalization reform, Laela and Naomi marched and supported the “Towards Zero Together AIDS2018 Community March” with Princess Mabel of Orange-Nassau.

Quinn participates in the AIDS2018 Official Press Conference among other global leaders in the fight against AIDS.

Alongside a diverse mixture of global HIV leaders, Quinn joined a panel for the AIDS2018 Official Press Conference stating, “It is an honor and a privilege to follow our grandmother’s footsteps here in Amsterdam, carrying on her voice, and her legacy, and her work. We are proud to join the thousands of activists here, continuing the progress made in the years behind us, focusing on the work that must be done today, and planning for tomorrow.”

One of our most exciting and heartfelt moments happened in partnership with The International AIDS Society (IAS) and amfAR, when Laela, Naomi, and Quinn presented the Elizabeth Taylor Human Rights Award to a pioneering Kenyan attorney, Allan Achesa Maleche during the AIDS2018 Opening Ceremony. Maleche is the first executive director of the Kenya Legal and Ethical Issues Network on HIV and AIDS (KELIN). “She would have been proud to see this award go to such a dedicated human rights crusader,” said Quinn. Watch Laela, Naomi and Quinn chat with Allan Maleche in an official AIDS2018 Facebook Live Interview.

Additional highlights:

  • We were joined by ETAF Ambassador Omar Sharif Jr. (Pictured Above) who served as the Master of Ceremonies for the AIDS2018 Opening Ceremony.
  • Quinn also participated as the Master of Ceremonies for the first ever youth-only session on the main stage at the International AIDS Conference. This Special Session panel featured 11 young experts, moderated by Charlize Theron and included ETAF’s own Program Coordinator Zakk Marquez as part of the youth delegation (Pictured Above). Watch the full video of this piece of history titled #PassTheMic.
  • During the Closing Ceremony of AIDS2018, Naomi (Pictured Above) introduced our dear friend Congresswoman Barbara Lee, whose remarks neatly tied an end to AIDS2018, “As an African-American woman and as someone who has spent my life fighting for the unheard and underrepresented, I will continue to resist all policies that demonize and discriminate against our sisters and brothers.”