The Battle of amfAR
presents the little-known story of how in the early days of the AIDS pandemic an unlikely alliance between a celebrity and a scientist helped changed the public perception of the disease and led to the search for a cure.
Hollywood superstar Elizabeth Taylor and Sloan-Kettering research scientist Dr. Mathilde Krim joined forces to create greater AIDS awareness, fight government indifference and public stigma, and establish amFAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research -- the first national organization dedicated to mobilizing the scientific community in the fight against AIDS and for a cure.
Concerned about a growing epidemic, Dr. Kim recruited Taylor to leverage her celebrity status to bring media attention to the disease and push for groundbreaking legislation. Taylor delivered powerful testimony before Congress and convinced President Reagan for the first time to publicly acknowledge the existence of HIV/AIDS as a worldwide pandemic. Dr. Krim focused on energizing the scientific community through her professional, political and social connections.The Battle of amfAR
reconstructs the history of the early years of the AIDS crisis through the twin lenses of early medical concern and the dedicated activism of these two powerful women. The film also explains some of the challenging science of the disease and the important breakthroughs in AIDS research.
The amFAR foundation’s support for early stage research has altered the course of the epidemic and brought the world closer to finding a cure. In 1996, research partially funded by amfAR led to lifesaving new drugs that made HIV/AIDS treatable, a diagnosis that no longer guaranteed a death sentence.
While the film traces the history of the search for an AIDS cure and offers hope, it also provides a dramatic reminder that the epidemic is far from over.AMONG THOSE FEATURED IN THE FILM
- Dr. Nathanial Landau, microbiologist, New York University
- Dr. Jeffrey Laurence, AIDS researcher, Weill Cornell Medical College
- Dr. Mario Stevenson, Miami Center for AIDS Research
- Phill Wilson, Founder and CEO, Black AIDS Institute
- Kenneth Cole, amfAR Chairman
- Richard Berkowitz, prominent AIDS activist
- Aileen Getty, philanthropist, Elizabeth Taylor’s daughter-in-law
- Regan Hofmann, journalist
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