Sir Elton John spoke of the importance of removing the stigma surrounding HIV at his annual fundraising Oscar party over the weekend.

The gay pop legend hosted his 22nd annual Elton John AIDS Foundation Academy Award Viewing Party on Sunday, where he performed Candle in the Wind for the first time in years in a duet with Ed Sheeran.

This year’s post-Oscar party raised an estimated $5.1m (£3.05m) for Sir Elton’s charity, which supports HIV/AIDS programmes in 55 countries.

Celebrities in attendance included Lady Gaga, Britney Spears, Heidi Klum, Quincy Jones, Whoopi Goldberg, Steven Tyler, Neil Patrick Harris.

Sir Elton told reporters: “There are so many children sick with HIV and AIDS. If you have two sons like we do… for example in (the African country) Lesotho, there’s about 30,000 infants who have HIV who haven’t got access to the treatment, and one of our big priorities this year is to make sure they do get access to the treatment for every single one of those children.

“There are a lot of people living with HIV and AIDS. We do things for other people as well,” Sir Elton said of HIV campaigning: “This is my main priority, it has been for 23 years now, and we can see a light at the end of the tunnel.

He added: “We can see the disease being very treatable and all we have to do is to get rid of the stigma and make people feel they are not ashamed to have the disease.”