Prince and pop superstar fight virus
ELTON John and Prince Harry will attend the International Aids Conference in Durban next week, it has been confirmed.
The pop star and British royal will host a youth-focused session at the conference, John’s Aids foundation said in a statement.
The session will address HIV among adolescents, with an emphasis on how stigma and discrimination affect youth.
John and Harry will be joined by Prince Seeiso of Lesotho and a panel of young advocates who will talk about what needs to be done to address the needs of youth with HIV.
John’s foundation would also announce the first recipient of the LGBT Funda, a $10 million partnership with the President’s Emergency Plan for Aids Relief, a US government initiative which focuses on Africa.
“Today, HIV/Aids is a treatable disease and no longer the death sentence it was 10 years ago, but we cannot grow complacent in our fight to eradicate it completely. If our efforts wane, anti-viral drug resistance will resurface, transmission rates will again rise, and this disease, which knows no boundaries, will once again become a ruthless pandemic with disastrous and far-reach- ing consequences,” John said.
“Many LGBT people and youth around the world still don’t have access to life-saving treatment and face high cases of stigma and discrimination. I look forward to working with Prince Harry and other world leaders to help make our dream of an Aids-free world a reality.”
John has been heavily involved in the fight against Aids since the late 1980s, and in 1992 he established his foundation. Since its inception, it has raised more than $350m for Aids initiatives.
John, who announced he was bisexual in 1976 and has been openly gay since 1988, entered into a civil partnership with David Furnish on December 21, 2005 and after gay marriage became legal in England, wed Furnish on December 21, 2014.
He is a noted champion of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender ( LGBT) social movements worldwide, and of same-sex marriage.
Last year the foundation established Young Survivors, a fundraising campaign to save the lives of young people living with HIV in selected African cities.
In 2014 the foundation and Pepfar awarded $7m to Health- 4Men, a South African programme that provides free and confidential health care for men who have sex with men.
John’s foundation and Pepfar will also host a press conference on Wednesday to formally announce the first grantee of their joint LGBT Fund. This fund, launched last year, will support to NGOs in sub-Saharan Africa and the Caribbean.
Elton John will attend the International Aids Conference in Durban.