“We must end COVID-19, and AIDS, everywhere, together.”
“The eyes of the world, Prime Minister, are on the UK, and on you.”
Ahead of this year’s G7 Summit, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been called on to step up the fight against HIV and AIDS.
Elton John – backed by other high profile signatories such as Gareth Thomas, Annie Lennox and Charlize Theron, along with multiple government officials – penned an open letter to UK government highlighting the disruption caused toward HIV prevention and treatment due to COVID-19. It also underlines a growing concern over new HIV infections and AIDS-related deaths.
“The COVID-19 crisis has shut down HIV prevention and treatment services, in many countries literally overnight.
“It has cut off millions of girls from school, and driven up poverty, gender-based violence and human rights violations.
“All of these factors increase people’s risks of acquiring HIV or of developing AIDS.
“Already we have seen a steep increase in rates of adolescent pregnancy, which we know will mean a surge in HIV infections too.
“As leaders and champions of the global HIV response, we now fear that the number of new HIV infections and AIDS-related deaths will climb again”.
Anne Aslett, who is the Executive Director of the Elton John AIDS Foundation, said in a statement: “Over 38 million people are currently living with HIV globally, 12 million of whom are not on HIV treatment and so highly vulnerable to COVID.”
“Failure to protect this population could see COVID deaths spiral and will do nothing to stem the rise of new HIV cases we are now seeing for the first time in years as a consequence of coronavirus”, the statement continued.
Read the full open letter below:
‘We must end COVID-19, and AIDS, everywhere, together.’— Elton John AIDS Foundation (@ejaf) May 28, 2021
Ahead of this year’s #G7 Summit, @eltonofficial joins over 30 world experts and leaders in a joint call to @BorisJohnson to step up the fight against #HIV.
Read the letter here 👇 https://t.co/PEpYdsnSlR
Elsewhere, Elton was awarded the iHeartRadio icon award this week and Demi Lovato took to the stage (joined by
Queer icons supporting queer icons!
To learn more about the amazing work done globally by the Elton John AIDS Foundation, click right here!