Elton John AIDS Foundation
At the Elton John AIDS Foundation we believe that AIDS can be beaten.
Our goal is to create an AIDS-free future for everyone in the world. With enough love, support and creativity, we know this is possible.
The Foundation has 20 years of expertise in the fight against HIV. We are now one of the largest, most respected and ‘can-do’ charities in our field. We have made it our mission from the start to help those who are most stigmatised by society because they are living with, or at high risk of HIV, by providing them with the means to protect themselves, access medicine and get on with their lives. We believe everyone is entitled to dignity, respect and compassion.
Elton and David Furnish visit EJAF project in Cape Town, 2008
AIDS is the most devastating disease the world has ever known. By the end of the 20th century, 50 years’ worth of public health gains were annihilated by AIDS. It was at this time, after losing his close friends like Freddie Mercury and teenager Ryan White to AIDS, that Sir Elton John decided to set up the Foundation, first in the United States in 1992, and subsequently in the United Kingdom in 1993.
While functioning as separate organisations, both the Elton John AIDS Foundation in the UK and the USA pursue the common goals of empowering people infected, affected and at risk of HIV/AIDS.
The programmes focus on improving quality of life of people living with or at risk of HIV, enabling them to exercise self-determination and live with dignity that everyone in the world rightly deserves.
The Elton John AIDS Foundation (London) focuses its grant-making on programmes in Africa, Asia and Europe, with the Elton John AIDS Foundation (New York) funding in the Americas and Caribbean. Together, the two branches of the Foundation have raised over $300 million and funded programs across four continents. The Foundation, along with its many supportive collaborators, works with determination to deliver the best fundraising events throughout the year so that it can continue to support the best programmes. The Foundation raises funds in a variety of ways. These include arts-related exhibitions, clothing sales, sponsor partnerships, licensed merchandise and events. The headline fundraising events include the Woodside End of Summer Party (Windsor, UK) and the Academy Awards Viewing Party (Los Angeles), as well as Smash Hits (2014 in London), and Enduring Vision (New York). The Foundation ensures the maximum amount from every donation is directed to grant-making activities.
None of this would be possible without the enduring dedication, compassion and determination of Sir Elton John. He, along with a worldwide community of politicians, celebrities, campaigners and friends all believe the end of AIDS is in sight and that AIDS can be beaten in our generation. He champions this cause any way possible, whether through his music, performing at fundraisers for the Foundation, using his celebrity status to hit headlines and raise awareness, or through his connections within the entertainment industry to help spread the word, so that the message ‘no one should be left behind’ is transmitted across countries, nationalities and people. He too believes that love is the cure and the power to rid the world of AIDS is in all of us; all we have to do is love.
The Foundation will continue to support the communities and projects it supports, communicate with governments and influential organisations, to use their power and responsibility to help improve the lives of its citizens and compatriots, as well as constantly finding more efficient and effective ways to create an AIDS free future for the next generation.
Love Is The Cure
In 2012 Love Is The Cure, a book written by Elton “on life, loss and the end of AIDS,” was published.
In the book Elton describes, poignantly, how in the 1980s, he saw friend after friend, loved one after loved one, perish needlessly from AIDS. In the midst of the plague, he befriended Ryan White, a young Indiana boy ostracized by his town and his school because of the HIV infection he had contracted from a blood transfusion. Ryan’s inspiring life and devastating death led Elton to two realisations: his own life was a mess, and he had to do something to help stop the AIDS crisis.
Since then, Elton has dedicated himself to overcoming the plague and the stigma of AIDS.
Love Is The Cure is Elton’s personal account of his life during the AIDS epidemic, including stories of his close friendships with Ryan White, Freddie Mercury, Princess Diana, Elizabeth Taylor, and others, and the story of the Elton John AIDS Foundation. Elton conveys the personal toll AIDS has taken on his life and his infinite determination to stop its spread.
He wrote, “This is a disease that must be cured not by a miraculous vaccine, but by changing hearts and minds, and through a collective effort to break down social barriers and to build bridges of compassion. Why are we not doing more? This is a question I have thought deeply about, and wish to answer — and help to change — by writing this book.”top