The Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF), a global leader in the fight to end AIDS, commemorates World AIDS Day 2015 by standing in solidarity with the estimated 34 million people around the world currently living with HIV or AIDS and by honoring the lives of the estimated 35 million people who have succumbed to the virus. The Foundation is also calling for more education, increased access to healthcare around the world, and deeper compassion for people living with or affected by HIV and AIDS.
"Since the first World AIDS Day in 1988, we have made significant progress in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Today, we now know how to prevent the spread of HIV and, thanks to scientific advancements, how to treat it," said Elton John, founder of EJAF. "But there's still more work to be done. Millions of people living with the virus either don't know it or lack access to the healthcare they need to treat it. Furthermore, discrimination and stigma in our healthcare system and society often keeps people who are aware of their HIV-status from seeking treatment. This must end if we want to end AIDS in our lifetime."
EJAF, through its innovative and strategic grantmaking, has been at the forefront of the global fight against HIV and AIDS. The foundation has raised more than $349 million for organizations fighting the epidemic. This year alone the foundation will invest more than $8 million in organizations across the Americas, half of which is earmarked for initiatives in the U.S. South and the Caribbean.
"In order to end AIDS in our lifetime, it is crucial to fund HIV advocacy organizations, to urge people to get tested, and to increase access to healthcare for people living with HIV/AIDS and those at risk of contracting the virus," said David Furnish, chairman of EJAF. "We also think it's important to support the communities and people most affected by the epidemic, including LGBT people of color, low-income people, and people in the criminal justice system. It's important to remember that everyone, regardless of their race, geography, sexual orientation, gender identity or criminal background, should have access to life-saving medicines. It's the right thing to do and it's largely what World AIDS Day is all about."
This World AIDS Day, show your support for EJAF by visiting EJAF.org/donate.