Elton John and Prince Harry launch bid to 'smash' AIDS stigma

RESULTS of several important HIV prevention studies such as ‘treatment as prevention’ and ‘on-demand PrEP’ has revealed more progress

RESULTS of several important HIV prevention studies such as ‘treatment as prevention’ and ‘on-demand PrEP’ has revealed more progress

Harry's charity Sentebale focuses on supporting HIV positive young people in the African nations of Lesotho and Botswana.

The 22nd International AIDS conference will seek to harness the star power of celebrity activists Charlize Theron, Elton John, and Prince Harry to bolster a battle that experts warn is losing ground in some parts of the world.

"If we want to end AIDS once and for all, we must make men part of the solution", Sir Elton told the audience.

The music legend said men must be taught to protect "not only their wives and girlfriends, their sisters, and daughters, but also critically their brothers and their sons".

The MenStar Coalition's first project will begin in Africa next year and will encourage men across the continent to test themselves to check if they have the virus.

Wurst added: "We deserve to live in a world free of HIV". Too often, and for good reason, men have been seen as the problem in the fight against Aids.

Much work has been done to protect women and girls but "we can't solve the whole problem if we are only addressing half the situation", John said.

The coalition brings together different partners - including the UN's Unitaid and the United States fund PEPFAR.

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He told the session on Monday morning: "For over a quarter century, Elton has worked tirelessly to fund research and services in communities around the world".

"And today, he has come to Amsterdam to announce his latest endeavor, a billion-dollar global partnership to break the cycle of male transmission of HIV, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa".

They have struck up a friendship after musician Elton John, who was close friend's with Harry's mother, performed at her funeral in 1997.

At the event, Prince Harry follows in his mother's footprints, as Princess Diana is hailed at changing attitudes about the virus.

He urged people to unite around the "smashing of a deadly stigma" surrounding HIV, "and calling out the prejudice that is still there".

Diana, Princess of Wales, played a prominent role in destigmatising AIDS and was famously pictured shaking hands with a man inflicted with the illness when she opened the UK's first purpose-built HIV/AIDS unit in 1987.

"More and more leaders, they should be using the younger generation and the experiences you have", Prince Harry said.

"There are many days when the challenges we face in Kenya and in so many other countries around the world can seem endless and they are a reminder that human rights must be fought for every day", he said during his address at the awards ceremony. Yes, of course. You go back and watch The Crown and things like that, and in the 1950's Princess Margaret wasn't allowed to get married, because he was divorced.

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