Sir Elton John and his friend Prince Harry have joined forces to announce a new global coalition, set to focus on treating HIV infections in men, it’s been reported.
The Elton John Aids Foundation (EJAF) and International AIDS Foundation (IAF) will launch the coalition at the 2018 International AIDS Conference, with the Opening Plenary taking place in Amsterdam on July 24.
John, who performed at Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding reception back in May, revealed some details in a statement, according to Billboard.
The message read: “Two years ago at the 21st International AIDS Conference in Durban, South Africa the Duke of Sussex and I participated in a panel looking at HIV and youth — the only age demographic where HIV infections are rising not falling.”
“Since then, my foundation, along with other partners, have been undertaking participatory, human-centred design research collectively covering six countries. A critical finding from this work is the urgent need to rapidly scale up men’s access to and engagement in HIV testing and treatment services.”
EJAF chairman David Furnish added, “The International AIDS Conference offers an opportunity to come together and get smarter in the fight against HIV/AIDS. We’re doing our part to focus the fight where it’s needed most: breaking down the barriers keeping key populations around the world from lifesaving treatment.”
“Elton and I are proud to be able to join the community of people living with HIV/AIDS, activists, global health specialists, NGOs, and policy makers in Amsterdam for AIDS 2018. With almost a third of those infected with HIV globally still not aware of their status or accessing treatment, we must maintain a real sense of collective urgency to get us to an AIDS-free future.”
Kensington Palace recently released a statement, according to the Daily Express, to say Harry would be attending the upcoming AIDS event as the Patron of Sentebale, which is a charity based in Lesotho, Africa, that helps youngsters affected by the AIDS/HIV epidemic.