Elton John says LGBT Africans must not be left behind in fight against HIV

Elton John says LGBT Africans must not be left behind in fight against HIV

Sir Elton John has said resources must be focused on reaching out to LGBT people in Africa.

The Rocketman singer spoke at the major HIV conference in Durban, South Africa, to praise Prince Harry for publicly taking a HIV test last week. He compared Harry to his late mother Princess Diana, on attempts to bring down barriers of stigma.

Sir Elton’s AIDS Foundation will be working on a new project to reach out to LGBT people in Africa, where being LGBT remains taboo, and in some jurisdictions is criminalized. He said he plans for the project to focus education, legal assistance and medicine on reaching the LGBT communities there.

He said: “We’ve come an awful long way. Now if a woman is pregnant, she doesn’t pass the disease onto the child, that’s how far we’ve come.”

Going on, he said there is still much to do, saying many people born with HIV cannot be ignored, and that “great work” could come to nothing if the fight is given up now.

Of homophobia around the globe, Sir Elton said it is “disconcerting”.

“The human spirit will always prevail,” he added, “but it is disconcerting to see people being marginalised, to see people fearful to be who they are. And if they are gay, and if they have HIV, they’re not likely to come out, they’re going to spread the disease further.”

Also at the 21st International AIDS Conference in Durban, it was announced that a major trial of a HIV vaccine will go ahead later this year.

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4 Comments

  1. elikem
    July 21, 09:07 Reply

    how can we fight HIV when our govts have refused to even acknowledge that there are LGBT ppl in our communities. this is the hypocrisy and denial that is digging our own graves in Africa.

  2. Delle
    July 21, 09:11 Reply

    ““The human spirit will always prevail,” he added, “but it is
    disconcerting to see people being marginalised, to see
    people fearful to be who they are. And if they are gay, and
    if they have HIV, they’re not likely to come out, they’re going to spread the disease further.”

    This is the truest statement there is. I don’t know how people can’t understand this. You hate what I am, make me recoil into my shell that I can’t even come out when I’m stricken with an ailment as contagious as HIV. Inadvertently putting yourself at risk also. It’s just pathetic.
    Thank God for bodies like TIERs though, we check our statuses all YEAR long with our pink regalia, not paying any attention to ignorants whatsoever!

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