PIONEER DESK: British singer and activist Elton John said on Friday a new $7 million partnership between his foundation and U.S. government agencies will help create an AIDS-free society but urged more work to reach that goal.
John met with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry at the State Department where they announced the joint project to help expand access to HIV services for gays and transgender individuals in Africa.
The new program called Health4Men will involve PEPFAR, the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and initially focus on South Africa.
John said it was “a dream come true” to combine the efforts of his foundation with U.S. government initiatives.
“We should be living in an AIDS-free world, and that people, no matter who they love, who they are, should have a right to be AIDS-free,” said John, who is one of Britain’s most prominent musicians and gay celebrities.
“I think we will do great work, and we have a lot more work to do, but this is a good start,” he added.
Kerry thanked John for his leadership and commended his foundation for “bringing hope and help to a lot of people.”