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Sir Elton John and Prince Harry team up for new HIV/Aids coalition

The Elton John Aids Foundation will reveal new partners at the International Aids Conference

By Steve Brown

Sir Elton John and Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex, will be launching a new global coalition aimed at treating HIV infections in men at the 2018 International Aids Conference.

This coalition will be revealed at the conference’s Opening Plenary at the end of the month as well as the Elton John Aids Foundation (EJAF) announcing its new partners in the Eastern Europe and Central Asia Key Populations Fund.

In a statement, John said: “Two years ago at the 21 International Aids Conference in Durban, South Africa, the Duke of Sussex and I participated in a panel looking at HIV and youth – the only age demographic where HIV infections are rising not falling.

“Since then, my foundation, along with other partners, have been undertaking participatory, human-centred, design research collectively covering six countries.

“A critical finding from this work is the urgent need to rapidly scale up men’s access to and engagement in HIV testing and treatment services.”

Under the new partners, the first EJAF grant awards will become available and will be revealed during the press event.

EJAF chairman David Furnish said: “The International Aids Conference offers an opportunity to come together and get smarter in the fight against HIV/Aids.

“We’re doing our part to focus the fight where it’s needed most: breaking down the barriers keeping key populations around the world from lifesaving treatment.

“Elton and I are proud to be able to join the community of people living with HIV/Aids, activists, global health specialists, NGOs, and policy makers in Amsterdam for Aids 2018.

“With almost a third of those infected with HIV globally still not aware of their status or accessing treatment, we must maintain a real sense of collective urgency to get us to an Aids-free future.”