Friday, July 15, 2016

Elton to Speak with Prince Harry in Durban Next Week

Sir Elton John and Prince Harry will be in Durban next week for the 2016 International AIDS Conference.

They will host a youth-focused special session at the conference‚ the Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF) and International AIDS Conference (IAC) announced on Thursday. The session will address the HIV epidemic among adolescents with a particular emphasis on the impact stigma and discrimination have on youth.

“Sir Elton and Prince Harry will be joined by Prince Seeiso of Lesotho and a panel of young advocates who will describe what is and what is not working for the HIV response among young people‚ and what must change to truly address the needs of youth with HIV.

“EJAF will also announce the first recipient of The LGBT Fund‚ a $10 million partnership with the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR)‚” EJAF said.

"Today‚ HIV/AIDS is a treatable disease and no longer the death sentence it was ten years ago‚ but we cannot grow complacent in our fight to eradicate it completely. If our efforts wane‚ anti-viral drug resistance will resurface‚ transmission rates will again rise‚ and this disease‚ which knows no boundaries‚ will once again become a ruthless pandemic with disastrous and far-reaching consequences‚" said Sir Elton.

"Many LGBT people and youth around the world still don't have access to life-saving treatment and face high cases of stigma and discrimination. I look forward to working with Prince Harry and other world leaders to help make our dream of an AIDS-free world a reality."

Responding to the AIDS crisis in Africa has been a key priority for the Foundation and has focused primarily on youth and LGBT people. In 2015‚ EJAF established 'Young Survivors' – a fundraising campaign to save the lives of young people living with HIV in selected African cities.

Since launching this campaign‚ EJAF has invested more than $3.42 million to support projects in 5 locations‚ including: Harare (Zimbabwe)‚ Kampala (Uganda)‚ Kisumu (Kenya)‚ Lusaka (Zambia) and Beira (Mozambique). In 2014‚ EJAF and PEPFAR awarded $7 million to Health4Men‚ a South African-based program that provides free and confidential health care for men who have sex with men.

- Times Live

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