Elizabeth Taylor would be horrified by the rate of HIV in gay men, says her granddaughter

The late actress campaigned exhaustively to end HIV and Aids

Helen Nianias
Tuesday 24 March 2015 15:05 GMT
( Getty Images)

Elizabeth Taylor would be "horrified" to learn that the highest rate of HIV is still in young gay men, according to her granddaughter Naomi deLuce Wilding.

Wilding told The Telegraph that she wanted to continue the pioneering actress' work to help eradicate HIV, and explained what an enormous influence Taylor has been.

“The best lesson she taught my cousins and siblings and I, was to use whatever skills we have to help others. God knows she used what she had to huge effect,” she said.

Wilding, who runs the Wilding Cran Gallery in LA with her husband, described her grandmother as "iconic".

“She was a very intuitive woman and when she saw that people - friends of hers and fellow actors - were being stigmatized, she recognised an opportunity to use her voice and fame to speak up for those who were being discriminated against,” she added.

Taylor founded the Elizabeth Taylor Aids Foundation in 1991 to fight the spread of HIV/Aids and her grandchildren became ambassadors after her death in 2011.

“It is bad enough that people are dying of AIDS, but no one should die of ignorance,” is the foundation's motto.

“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,” Wilding said.

“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.”

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