Sir Elton John and US government launch $10 million fund to tackle HIV in LGBT community
The Elton John AIDS Foundation has teamed up with a US government scheme to fund a push to help LGBT people with HIV/AIDS.
Speaking at the US Ambassador’s London residence, Sir Elton announced the joint partnership, which will provide grants to local groups aiming to improve access to HIV services.
The Elton John AIDS Foundation and the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS (PEPFAR) will each provide $5 million in funding for the LGBT-focussed scheme, which will also focus on sub-Saharan Africa.
The move is seen as an important step toward ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030.
Sir Elton said: “We will now partner to expand support to thousands in the LGBT community across multiple countries. This is not favouritism – it is pragmatic and compassionate. We cannot end AIDS unless we protect this group.
“We are deeply honoured to be working with PEPFAR on this.
“Our goal is to build a quick, nimble and easily accessible fund which can get funds to the most effective public health organisations doing some of the most important work among the most at risk groups.
“Today’s announcement marks the culmination of tireless work from both sides to best support those helping the communities around the world which are often the hardest to support through societal stigma and discrimination.”
He added of the early AIDS crisis: “Gay men in the United States bore the brunt of the body count, and the appalling stigma and humiliation, even in death.
“What a blessing it is to see now a US administration showing extraordinary leadership in not only recognising LGBT rights at home, but reaching out to the most vulnerable LGBT communities around the world with dignity and life-saving support.”
The scheme will work with community leaders, civil society, and service providers, to boost access for LGBT people.
Matthew Barzun, the United States Ambassador to the UK, said: “Step by step, day by day, people are doing the hard work on the ground to pave the way for an AIDS-free generation, and we’re proud to stand with them.
“We need the passion of people and the power of government to come together to finally eradicate HIV.”