Sir Elton John gave the keynote address today at the 2009 BIO International Convention today in Atlanta. He emphasized that we need to get past our “standing stereotypes and prejudices that inhibit our efforts to combat AIDS.”

Citing such stigmas, he noted that HIV/AIDS has fallen off the radar yet there is a critical need for advances in the treatment of HIV/AIDS.  “All of us must confront the reality of the AIDS epidemic,” he implored.

Elton John spoke about having lost 60 friends to AIDS and said that he launched the Elton John Aids Foundation (EJAF) out of guilt for not doing enough. Since 1992, the Foundation has raised $150 million toward fighting and preventing the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

EJAF focuses on supporting community-based prevention programs, harm reduction programs, public education to reduce the stigma of HIV/AIDS, advocacy to improve AIDS-related public policy, and direct services to persons living with HIV/AIDS, especially populations with special needs.

To support Sir Elton’s efforts, the Biotechnology Industry Organization has pledged a generous donation of $150,000 to EJAF. Now, you can make a donation to help match it!

Make your contribution at I am Biotech.

The stats:

  • More than 1 million Americans, today, are living with HIV and more than 500,000 lack the necessary treatment to survive. About a third of new AIDS cases are among people under the age of 30.
  • AIDS is one of the leading causes of death among young black women and prevalence rates among middle-aged black men in Manhattan equals those in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • About 41 percent of HIV-positive Americans live in the South.
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One Comment

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    Then perhaps we should start listening to the Pope regarding AIDS in Africa and stop giving to folks like the EJAF:

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/faith/article5987155.ece