LOS ANGELES, Sept. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Two days before People For the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PeTA) holds its 25th anniversary gala at Paramount Studios in Hollywood, a coalition of AIDS activists has attacked the group for impeding the fight for a cure to AIDS and other devastating diseases. In a letter to PeTA spokesperson Charlize Theron, ACT UP!, the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, and numerous other AIDS activists and advocacy groups demanded that Theron set an example for other celebrity endorsers of PeTA and withdraw her support for the radical organization. PeTA which publicly advocates a total ban on animal testing -- even if it means a cure to diseases such as diabetes or AIDS -- has actively courted Hollywood stars to promote its benevolent image and to fill its $25 million a year coffers. According to coalition organizer Genevieve Clavreul, "You cannot wear an AIDS ribbon and call yourself a PeTA supporter. It is an insult to the 37 million people living with HIV/AIDS and it is an insult to the memory of the 20 million people who have died from this terrible disease." With the release of the letter to Charlize Theron, Patient Advocates Against PeTA is kicking off a campaign targeting Hollywood celebrities, calling them to account for their high profile role in hindering the search for a cure to AIDS and other incurable diseases. The following is a copy of the letter from Patient Advocates Against PeTA to Charlize Theron, dated September 7, 2005: As a world-famous actress who sets an example for people across the globe, we, the undersigned advocates of a cure for AIDS, oppose your endorsement of PeTA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) PeTA opposes AIDS research that requires the study of lab animals. PeTA's President Ingrid Newkirk once said even if animal research produced a cure for AIDS, "we'd be against it." We agree with you that animals should be treated with compassion, and we applaud your efforts to advance animal welfare. However, we value human life as well. Humane, responsible animal research represents the best chance and holds the greatest potential to find a cure for AIDS. Today, there are 37 million people worldwide living with HIV/AIDS. In the past 25 years, 20 million people have died from AIDS. By 2010, 44 million children will have been orphaned by the disease. Despite recent gains in medicine, 3 million people with AIDS died in 2003. Your advertisements for PeTA -- and participation as an honorary committee member of its upcoming 25th Anniversary Gala on September 10, 2005 -- legitimize this group's opposition to AIDS research, jeopardizing the lives of millions worldwide. Ms. Theron, you have a choice: You can choose to support the search for a cure to AIDS, or you can continue to support an organization that stands in our way. On behalf of the millions of people living with HIV and AIDS, we hope you will join our fight for a cure.
SOURCE Patient Advocates Against PeTA