GLAAD co-signs letter to entertainment industry leaders combatting stigma of HIV & AIDS

 

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, the fight continues.

GLAAD has recently co-signed an open letter on behalf of the HIV & AIDS community calling on entertainment industry leaders "to continue to defend and support the rights and dignity of entertainment industry workers living with HIV and to help promote greater public education on HIV."  With over 100 signators in 22 states, the District of Columbia and the Virgin Islands, this nationwide coalition specifically urges industry leaders to consider taking action to shed light on the injustice of continued HIV stigma and to assist in its eradication.

Link to Open Letter to Entertainment IndustrySpecifically,the coalition is calling on all industry associations, guilds and unions to:  1) notify their members reminding them of their legal obligations under the Americans with Disabilities Act not to discriminate against any employee on the basis of his or her HIV status; and 2) to be aware of current science and knowledge about the nature of HIV transmission and treatment.

The Open Letter makes it clear that accurate storylines and media coverage of HIV and AIDS is just as important as fighting workplace bias and discrimination.  Signators include:  Black AIDS Institute, National LGBTQ Task Force, Ryan White Medical Providers Coalition, Gay Men's Health Crisis, Lambda Legal, Latino Commission on AIDS, the SERO Project and many, many others.

 

HIV & AIDS in the News Resource GuideGLAAD's commitment to combating HIV and AIDS is a critical part of our programmatic work.   HIV & AIDS in the News:  A Guide for Reporting in a New Era of Prevention & Treatment was created for news media outlets to assist them in fairly, inclusively, and accurately telling the story of people living with HIV in the United States.  All too often, the way the media portrays HIV today stigmatizes those who are living with the virus or, worse yet, their stories are not being told.  GLAAD and our partners at The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation and AIDS United will continue to speak out against stigmatizing people living with HIV and AIDS in recognition of the important role media plays in telling their stories.

Elizabeth TaylorIn conjunction with the launch of the resource guide in late 2015, GLAAD again teamed up with The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation and produced 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.  

Sarah Kate Ellis, GLAAD's President and CEO, said:

"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.  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.  Among the many celebrities featured are:  Whoopi Goldberg, Jonathan Groff, Meredith Viera, Tituss Burgess and Bebe Neuwirth.

Learn more about finishing the fight against HIV & AIDS at glaad.org/hiv.