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United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon attended the Civil Society Hearing on HIV and AIDS in New York last week, and paid special tribute to Elizabeth Taylor.

“Last month, the world lost one of our greatest AIDS activists,” he said. "Elizabeth Taylor was known to so many people for her rare beauty and her many talents. I myself was a huge fan of her movies growing up. But to the United Nations family, her star shone brightest as a champion of action on HIV and AIDS.

“Some 15 years ago, speaking at the United Nations, she talked about how difficult it had been to organize her first event on AIDS. She said, “I never faced rejection like that before in my life. Everybody slammed doors, hung up phones and didn’t want to become involved.”

“If people were hanging up the phone on Elizabeth Taylor, I can only imagine the struggle that all of you went through in the early days to get us where we are now.

“Elizabeth Taylor is no longer alive, but she left a great legacy. And she left us these words about the struggle against HIV and AIDS: ‘Keep pushing and fighting because it isn’t over yet. There is hope,’ she said. ‘But we need more than hope. We need you.’”

Elizabeth Taylor passed away on March 23. You can read about her charity legacy here.

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