By Shirley Genga
She worked tirelessly to raise money and awareness, notably from 1985 for the rest of her life. Under the auspices of the Elizabeth Taylor Aids Foundation, Taylor’s activism made her an international spokeswoman for the fight against HIV/Aids and inspired other celebrities to join the fight against HIV, from Bono to Alicia Keys.
ELIZABETH TAYLOR AWARD
During the recent historic Aids 2012 Conference, which took place from July 22 to 27, in Washington DC, USA, actress Sharon Stone presented the inaugural Elizabeth Taylor Award to brothers Kamiar Alaei and Arash Alaei, who pioneered the treatment of HIV and Aids in Iran. Their work once made them political prisoners.
During the conference, while Wyclef Jean was at the fore front of ‘Keep the Promise’ rally, which attracted over 3000 people and took place near the Washington Monument on Sunday, July 25, on the opening day of the International Aids Conference in Washington DC last week, Elton John addressed the International Aids Conference in Washington DC. Elton John also has a foundation to help people with HIV and has written a book about HIV.
Back in Kenya Jennifer Lusichi, popularly known as Q-ty, is using her celebrity status to fight the scourge. She lost her sister to Aids, two yeas ago. Seeing her sister undergo untold suffering inspired Jennifer to form Q-ty Foundation two years ago.
Her Foundation does not work under any organization, just her and a few dedicated friends who decided to stand up and make a change. So far, the local celebrities who have come out to support her include: Mchizi Gaza, Cannibal, Kenrazy, Refiga Heavyweight, presenter Mwende of Radio Maisha, Kijani, Sisqo Dancers, and many others.
According to the singer, many people in the slums do not use condoms and are ignorant about preventive methods.
In 2010 she released a documentary on HIV Music for Change which was nominated for the Nola Documentary Awards .In the documentary, which is currently available on the social sharing site YouTube, Jennifer candidly talks about what her sister went through before she passed on and how it affected her.
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