March 23, 2011, marked a sad day in the global fight against AIDS and for everyone whose lives were touched by the passion and genius of Elizabeth Taylor. TAG remembers her fierce advocacy for the human rights and dignity of people living with AIDS and people at risk for HIV, including the most marginalized and dispossessed. Elizabeth Taylor fought fiercely against the Clinton administration’s irrational refusal to support needle-exchange and harm-reduction programs to prevent the spread of HIV among drug users and their communities. She supported visionary, early communitybased needle-exchange programs that documented their effectiveness in reducing HIV transmission among drug users to less than 1% year, setting the stage for growing adoption of these interventions by public health authorities worldwide. TAG is grateful to Elizabeth Taylor for her strong support of AIDS research advocacy. Above all, TAG remembers and will mourn Elizabeth Taylor’s profound ability to touch our lives, changing hearts and minds, and focusing our attention on our common humanity. TAG extends our deepest condolences to Elizabeth Taylor’s family, friends, and loved ones around the world.
The first individual in Zambia to publicly acknowledge his HIV status, Winston Zulu died on 12th October 2011 at University Teaching Hospital in Lusaka. Born in 1964 in Lusaka, Zambia, Winstone was the sixth of thirteen children. After being diagnosed with HIV in 1990, he contracted TB in 1997. With access to effective medicines and treatment, he was cured of the disease [TB] within that same year.
Not only was Winstone Zulu a hero in the fight against AIDS, but he was also a pioneer in bringing AIDS activism to the hitherto barren and civil society free zone of TB prevention, treatment, and care. Winstone continued to speak bravely and with a calm passion. At Bangkok in 2004, he was inspired by meeting Nelson Mandela at a press conference where he and Mandela shared the stage; Mandela said, “We can’t fight AIDS unless we do much more to fight TB as well.” Winstone spent years traveling all over the world, speaking with activists, media, and politicians about the struggle of living with HIV and fighting the constant threat of TB. Winstone Zulu worked tirelessly to change the world, at no small cost to his own health and well-being. His legacy is a stronger link between HIV and TB activists, and his inimitable calm and passionate voice of reason will be deeply missed.