Collecting an award from the Elton John AIDS Foundation, Hillary Clinton said on stage “we still have so far to go” when it comes to helping those affected by HIV.

The former US Secretary of State was in New York to receive the award on Tuesday evening.

The black-tie celebrity event raised more than $1 million for the foundation.

Standing alongside Sir Elton John, Clinton told the crowd at the Cipriani Wall Street ballroom “we still have so far to go” when it comes to helping those affected by HIV/AIDS.

“There are so many challenges in front of us,” she said, adding that she wants to see an “AIDS free generation” and that accomplishing it must be “our north star.”

“I thank you, but I know there’s more for us to do. Humans may discriminate, but viruses don’t.”

The United Nations’ HIV/AIDS agency last month said the epidemic could potentially be over by 2030 – but that will only happen if efforts on tackling global transmission among most at risk populations, such as gay and bisexual men, are dramatically strengthened. 

Speaking to reporters, Sir Elton said that he was “honoured to honour” Clinton, adding that she was “the kind of human being that I love”.

He said he had been impressed with Clinton’s recent speech in Geneva, in which she said that “gay rights are human rights and human rights are gay rights.”

Clinton officially announced her support for equal marriage in a speech back in March in which she called moves towards equality “breathtaking and inspiring”.