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Jared Leto and Matthew McConaughey give emotional 2014 Oscar acceptance speeches

'Dallas Buyers Club' co-stars Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto won 2014 Academy Awards for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor on March 2, 2014
Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images

Dallas Buyers Club” co-stars Jared Leto and Matthew McConaughey snagged the Best Supporting Actor and Best Actor Oscars at the 86th Annual Academy Awards which aired live from Hollywood on March 2.

Their riveting portrayals of two very different people who become unlikely friends and business partners while battling HIV/AIDS is the basis of the critically-acclaimed film which is based on the true life story of electrician and rodeo cowboy Ron Woodroof who was diagnosed with AIDS, given 30 days to live and then went on to survive seven years longer than doctors originally predicted.

Jared Leto plays a fictional HIV positive transgender woman named Rayon who Woodroof meets and at first is hostile towards. Eventually, Woodroof and Rayon form the Dallas Buyers Club to sell AZT to other HIV positive “clients.”

Leto and McConaughey mark the first co-stars to win the both acting Oscars from the same film since “Mystic River’s” Sean Penn (Best Actor) and Tim Robbins (Best Supporting Actor) swept these categories in 2004. The only other film to win both awards in these categories was “Ben Hur” in 1959.

Jared Leto received the first award of the evening. He became emotional in his heartfelt acceptance speech when he credited his high school dropout, single mom for making a better life for him and his brother as she pushed them to “work hard,” “do something special,” and pursue their dreams.

He also gave a touching dedication saying, “This is for the 36 million people who have lost the battle to AIDs and to those of you out there who have ever felt injustice because of who you are or who you love. Tonight I stand here in front of the world with you and for you.”

Matthew McConaughey received his Best Actor Oscar near the end of the ceremony and also became emotional when crediting God, his family and himself as being “who I look up to, who I look forward to, and who I chase.”

He thanked God for the incredible blessings in his life saying “I know are not of my hand or any human hand.” He called out his late father who taught him “how to be a man,” his mother, who taught him to respect himself and his wife, Camilla and their children as the “the people in my life who I wanna make the most proud of me” along with his “hero” who he “chases” and describes as the version of himself that he’ll be in ten years.

As a small budget film, “Dallas Buyers Club” has made a huge impact with its subject matter. While marked and important progress has been made in the prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS, it is still a disease with of massive global concern.

Statistics from UNAIDS.org report:

  • In 2012, there were 35.3 million [32.2 million–38.8 million] people living with HIV.
  • Since the start of the epidemic around 75 million [63 million–89 million] have become infected with HIV.
  • In 2012, 1.6 million [1.4 million–1.9 million] people died from AIDS-related causes worldwide compared to 2.3 million [2.1 million–2.6 million] in 2005.
  • Since the start of the epidemic an estimated 36 million [30 million – 42 million] people have died of AIDS-related illnesses.

Progress reported on the site reflects:

  • New HIV infections have fallen by 33% since 2001.
  • Worldwide, 2.3 million [1.9 million–2.7 million] people became newly infected with HIV in 2012, down from 3.4 million [3.1 million–3.7 million] in 2001.
  • New HIV infections among adults and adolescents decreased by 50% or more in 26 countries between 2001 and 2012.
  • New HIV infections among children have declined by 52% since 2001.
  • Worldwide, 260 000 [230 000–320 000] children became newly infected with HIV in 2012, down from 550 000 [500 000–620 000] in 2001.
  • AIDS-related deaths have fallen by 30% since the peak in 2005.
  • In 2012, 1.6 million [1.4 million–1.9 million] people died from AIDS-related causes worldwide compared to 2.3 million [2.1 million–2.6 million] in 2005.

“Dallas Buyers Club” also won a Best Makeup and Hairstyling Oscar and received a prestigious Best Picture Oscar nomination.

Click here for an entire list of 2014 Oscar winners.