GLAAD released today a public service announcement (PSA) to inspire, inform, and reignite the passion and action needed to beat the HIV and AIDS epidemic once and for all.
The PSA, produced by the award-winning Martian Entertainment, was created by GLAAD and The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation as part of an ongoing partnership that launched earlier this year with a resource guide for journalists covering HIV and AIDS in a new era of prevention and treatment.
"As GLAAD celebrates 30 years of culture-changing media advocacy, this PSA represents a return to the work that was at the heart of our founding – the sensationalized and negative media coverage of the HIV and AIDS crisis," said GLAAD CEO & President Sarah Kate Ellis. "This reinvigorated campaign will focus attention on the epidemic at home and abroad by elevating the cultural conversation surrounding HIV and AIDS and reminding the public that our work is not done. But we have the tools to get there, and this piece spotlights that."
The PSA begins with Elizabeth Taylor's historic and impassioned speech at the 1992 Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert as a framework to introduce a new generation to the modern realities of HIV and AIDS, as well as the tools we have to overcome them. It includes participation from Meredith Vieira, Whoopi Goldberg, Jonathan Groff, Michael Emerson, Tituss Burgess, and Bebe Neuwirth and will air nationally in a thirty-second format with generous support from Comcast–NBCUniversal. An extended version of the PSA will run online.
“The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation is thrilled to be partnering with GLAAD. Their organization was created to respond to misinformation in the media about HIV and AIDS at a time when conversation in the zeitgeist about the epidemic was very high, but understanding of the virus was very low,” said Joel Goldman, Managing Director of The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation. “ Today, it’s the opposite. Conversation about HIV and AIDS is barely discussed in individual circles and has comparatively fallen out of the news cycle. This is despite the fact that the U.S. has not seen a decrease in new infection rates in nearly two decades.”
Elizabeth Taylor established The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation (ETAF) in 1991 to support organizations delivering direct care and services to people living with HIV and AIDS, often to the most marginalized populations. Today, ETAF also provides funding for HIV prevention education and advocacy programs throughout the world, including existing organizations creating new and innovative techniques that help spread awareness of HIV prevention and treatment to targeted communities.
In 1985, GLAAD was founded in response to the New York Post’s grossly defamatory coverage of the HIV and AIDS epidemic. Three decades later, GLAAD’s legacy of fighting injustice in the media for the LGBT community has reshaped our culture and created historic levels of acceptance.