Liza Minnelli to receive UKC International AIDS Hero Award

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On Thursday 30th January at 7.30pm, at London’s Dorchester Hotel, the legendary, Oscar-winning, singer and actress Liza Minnelli will accept the International Hero Award for her outstanding work on behalf of people living with HIV and AIDS around the world. The presentation, to be made at the 2nd Annual UK Coalition of People Living with HIV and AIDS (UKC) Hero Awards charity gala and dinner, marks the first time an International Award has been presented by the UKC & Crusaid.

Liza Minnelli, one of the first major Hollywood stars to speak out publicly against HIV, has tirelessly supported the HIV community by way of countless personal appearances in public and on stage across the world. This has included her work for Broadway Cares and AMFAR, the Sunburst Project (Children Living with AIDS), Acapulco Against AIDS (ACASIDA), Treatment Equals Life, The UK Phoenix Mercury Trust and American Red Ribbon Awards. In 1994 at the Universal Amphitheatre in Los Angeles, Minnelli, alongside Elizabeth Taylor and Barbra Streisand, helped to raise $5 million for AMFAR. Her recordings in support of HIV/AIDS have included the Broadway Cares Christmas album Home for the Holidays, and her single, The Day After That, was chosen by the United Nations to launch World AIDS Day in 1993.

Ms Minnelli said of her award: "I am very honoured that the UK Coalition of People Living with HIV and AIDS and Crusaid will be presenting me with this prestigious award for my work in the fight against HIV and AIDS. I will do anything in this fight to help find a cure for this devastating disease. Meanwhile, those who are stricken with HIV and AIDS need our constant support, help and understanding. We have a long way to go in the fight ahead of us and I will always be a part of that battle."

Glossary

Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC)

Infections caused by a micro-organism related to TB which can cause disease in people with advanced HIV.

cure

To eliminate a disease or a condition in an individual, or to fully restore health. A cure for HIV infection is one of the ultimate long-term goals of research today. It refers to a strategy or strategies that would eliminate HIV from a person’s body, or permanently control the virus and render it unable to cause disease. A ‘sterilising’ cure would completely eliminate the virus. A ‘functional’ cure would suppress HIV viral load, keeping it below the level of detection without the use of ART. The virus would not be eliminated from the body but would be effectively controlled and prevented from causing any illness. 

Other awards presented on the evening include the Corporate Hero Award in recognition of an exemplary contribution in support of the fight against HIV & AIDS to the MAC AIDS Fund who have raised more than $25 million through the sale of VIVA Glam lipsticks in order to provide daily services for men, women and children affected by HIV/AIDS around the world. Shirley Manson lead singer of Garbage and spokesperson for VIVA Glam will collect the award with president of MAC Cosmetics John Demsey.

Other awards presented on the evening include the UKC Hero Award 2003 in recognition of exceptional work within the HIV & AIDS UK community.

This year the gala dinner and presentations will again be hosted by top UK television presenter Gaby Roslin. The awards ceremony and gala dinner will be followed by a special performance by Sony Classical recording artists, the OperaBabes.

Celebrating its tenth anniversary this year, the UKC’s aim is to enable the diverse voices of people living with HIV and AIDS to be heard in order to influence change. The UKC prides itself on its ability to create and develop programmes in direct response by listening to the experiences and advice of positive people. Its direct services offer peer advice and advocacy, adult guidance, work experience placements, and welfare advice; the company also publishes Positive Nation, the UK’s HIV and sexual health magazine.

Crusaid is the leading UK charity devoted to fundraising on behalf of people living with HIV & AIDS. Over the past 17 years, Crusaid has raised more than £24 million to support the National Hardship Fund, projects designed to care for people with HIV; Crusaid is also committed to fundraising in order to help prevent the spread of the virus throughout the UK and overseas, and the search for a vaccine and a cure.

Tickets for the gala dinner and presentations are available from Crusaid on 020 7833 3939 or online by clicking here.