At the Elton John AIDS Foundation we believe that AIDS can be beaten. Our goal is to create an AIDS free future for everybody in this world. With enough support, love and creativity, we know this is possible.
AIDS is the most devastating disease the modern world has ever known. By the end of the 20th Century, 50 years worth of
public health gains were annihilated by AIDS. This is an unnecessary tragedy. But the biggest weapon we have to fight this is in all of us - compassion.
We believe that through our network of kind, amazing, creative friends we can overcome these stigmas and motivate scientists,
aid workers and politicians to end AIDS. With your help, we can pioneer ways to prevent HIV from spreading and help people
deal with its effects.
This way we can keep the dream of an AIDS free future alive. We can do this. Here's how...
We fund a huge range of projects - from mobile testing units at football matches to sending SMS text reminders to pregnant women. They all make HIV testing easy, affordable, reliable and above all are offered to everyone without judgement or discrimination. It's essential that HIV testing is a routine part of public health. The work we fund is always linked to national systems, and we lobby governments ensure the structures are in place to maintain and expand them.
HIV medicines are now available for as little as $300 a year. Enlightened donors, NGOs and governments have made them available to over 7 million people living with HIV. These medicines not only save lives, they make people living with the virus up to 96% less infectious. So it turns out compassion for those who are sick has also been the best prevention plan. We fund programmes that expand affordable, quality medical treatment to reach those who urgently need help and are still waiting.
Stigma is still HIV's most deadly symptom. We have cheap, easy ways to test for HIV, and ever more effective drugs to treat the HIV virus. We cannot use them if people living with or very vulnerable to HIV are shunned, hidden, or denied their human rights. Compassion cures discrimination. It needs no special training or qualifications, just a belief that all people deserve the chance to protect themselves and others. Without compassion, we cannot create an AIDS free future.
We believe everyone has the right to quality medicine and support
“When I found out I was HIV-positive, I thought my world had ended. I was five months pregnant. I couldn’t tell anybody because of the shame, but I was terrified that I would die and so would my baby. At the clinic I met a lady. She too was HIV-positive. She counselled me and told me that with her help and the right medicine, my baby would not die and I too would be fine. Today, because of her help, I have a healthy baby boy. And I am on antiretroviral treatment from the government clinic, so I hope I will still be around when he becomes a father!”
Over 350,000 HIV pregnant women are being helped with the Foundation’s support. Our programmes pilot the most efficient, cost effective ways of making sure every part of their process leads to a healthy mother and a HIV-free baby. Prevention of mother to child transmission is one of the most effective ways to prevent HIV spreading and through this strategy we are reaching 20% of all HIV-positive pregnant women in need around the world.
We believe everyone has the right to information, opportunities and choices
“I live in Simferopol, Ukraine. I found out I was HIV-positive when I went to the doctor with a chest infection. The doctor told me it was my fault I had become infected, and that HIV only affects people who use drugs or sell sex, but I have never done these things. The doctor told me that he did not have any drugs to help me and that I would probably die within 18 months. I joined a small support group of the All Ukrainian Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS. I found out about HIV medicines, I went on marches to demonstrate to our government and wrote dozens of letters to newspapers. My proudest day was when I saw photos of the head of the Network with President Yushenko after he agreed to change the laws about new drugs coming into the country. Now I am on treatment. There is still prejudice but I am well and I will fight.”
Over 100,000 people living with HIV in programmes we fund have now been put on better medicine, so they can not only live better, healthier lives, they are over up to 96% less likely to pass the HIV virus to someone else.
Love is in My Blood
On Valentine’s Day this year, we launched a social media campaign called Love Is In My Blood. Over 50,000 people, including some of Elton’s well known friends tweeted their support - urging compassion to end AIDS. In 36 hours, this message was seen by over 100m people on Twitter and 20m on Facebook, 450,000 of whom are still engaging with the message. Elton’s friend Ai Weiwei created a fantastic art video, inspired by the words Love Is In My Blood that was broadcast in New York, London and Kiev and seen by three million people.
To mark the commitment of everyone who has supported the Foundation over the last 20 years we wanted to do something that raised more awareness about HIV/AIDS, brought people from all over the world together with the message of compassion for people living with HIV/AIDS and that we believe AIDS can be beaten.
We know that our battle is only half won if people living with HIV are still being left behind. We want you to join this wave of compassion, like the people who joined the conversation on Valentine’s Day to show that love - not hatred, fear or indifference - is in your blood.
So stand alongside Elton, David and the rest of our friends by contributing to the Love is in my Blood message via Twitter (#loveisinmyblood) or on Facebook.