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Thursday, November 6, 2014

ELTON JOHN AIDS FOUNDATION INVESTS IN MSM, LGBT PROGRAMS

The Elton John AIDS Foundation is donating funds to new HIV programs focused on the U.S. LGBT population as well as on men who have sex with men (MSM) in South Africa, according to an EJAF press release.

Sir Elton John and his partner David Furnish—the EJAF founder and chairman, respectively—met with Secretary of State John Kerry to discuss a $7 million collaborative program between the EJAF and the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). Called Health4Men, the program will provide HIV interventions for MSM living in South Africa, where MSM face high risk of the virus in part because of discrimination and stigma.

While in Washington, DC, John and Furnish also announced a $300,000 grant to gay advocacy group the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) for a national HIV prevention and awareness program geared toward the LGBT community, notably gay and bisexual men and transgender women. At the HRC National Dinner, John and Furnish received the group’s National Equality Award.

John also penned a New York Times op-ed titled “Don’t Forget About AIDS.” He writes:

In short, as the gay community celebrates the march of marriage, we are failing to maintain the kind of basic [HIV] awareness and education that is needed to save lives....

All Americans need to recognize the AIDS epidemic for what it has become: a crisis of stigma, marginalization and inequality. Medical advances and treatments like PrEP can get us close to the end of AIDS, but only if enough people can afford them. That means going beyond AIDS itself to attack the root causes of these rising infection rates, like poverty, homelessness, addiction and limited access to health care.

SOURCE: POZ DOT COM

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