Here's One Way Elizabeth Taylor's Grandson Honors Her Legacy

Elizabeth Taylor is known for her six decades as a Hollywood actress and her two Academy Awards. But according to her grandson Quinn Tivey, her true passion was her work in AIDS research. In fact, he wrote in People that Taylor's work fighting the AIDS epidemic "was such a vital part of her legacy."

Tivey carries on his grandmother's legacy as an officer of the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation (ETAF), an organization founded by his grandmother in 1991 to provide direct care to those affected by AIDS. Taylor had already been working on the AIDS crisis throughout the 1980s before she founded the organization. According to the ETAF website, Taylor was "the first globally recognized celebrity HIV and AIDS activist."

Tivey believes that it's important for him to carry Taylor's activism. "Grandma stood up for what she believed in, living boldly and courageously," he wrote in his People piece. Over 20 years after his grandmother's foundation was formed, Tivey says that "the fight is far from over."

HIV Is Not A Crime

"With the right medications, people living with HIV can have undetectable viral loads with the virus, therefore being effectively untransmittable," Quinn Tivey wrote in an essay for People. Despite this, he points out that many states have HIV laws based on old information.

According to the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation, laws in over 30 states call for the persecution of those who knowingly expose another person to AIDS, and violation of these laws can lead to imprisonment. However, ETAF Executive Director Catherine Brown argues that the outdated laws — aimed at preventing the spread of AIDS — actually do the opposite. "HIV is not a crime," Brown said in a press release, "and those living with HIV are being held back by harmful laws and policies that discourage people from getting tested and treated."

Tivey claims in his People piece that these laws also "affect many of the same communities that are also disproportionately affected by HIV," including women, people of color, transgender communities, and people in low-income areas. According to Tivey, his grandmother's foundation is continuing the work she started through the '"HIV Is Not A Crime" initiative. He claims that the foundation is "educating legislators, raising awareness for the public, disproving myths and decreasing fear and stigma."

"I know grandma would be proud of this work too," he wrote.