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Sir Elton John to Britain's Parliament: Next election winner can help eradicate AIDS by 2030

Elton John addressed Britain's Parliament on Wednesday 29 Nov. - Pictured here performing on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington - 2022
Elton John addressed Britain's Parliament on Wednesday 29 Nov. - Pictured here performing on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington - 2022 Copyright AP Photo/Susan Walsh
Copyright AP Photo/Susan Walsh
By David MouriquandAP
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Sir Elton John has told British MPs that the winner of the next general election can "help to end AIDS worldwide by 2030."


Ahead of World AIDS Day tomorrow (1 December), Elton John has addressed Britain's Parliament at an event honouring his dedication to fighting HIV in the UK and beyond.

The British star spoke to dozens of lawmakers and campaigners in the grand Speaker’s House of Parliament on Wednesday (29 November).

Sir Elton set up his AIDS Foundation in 1992 and has helped raise millions of dollars to prevent HIV infections and reduce stigma.

Sir Elton said that “automatic testing gets to people earlier, which means less HIV transmission, less illness, less death and by the estimate of health economists, £50m saved for the NHS."

He continued: "Whoever wins the next general election can help to end AIDS worldwide by 2030."

"In the UK, new HIV diagnoses are down 46% since their peak in 2015. We can be the first country in the world to defeat this awful virus. Playing our part, fulfilling the United Nations goal and showing other nations how it's done."

Earlier that day, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak also paid tribute to John's AIDS Foundation, saying he was pleased its work was being celebrated in Parliament.

“Sir Elton has been a powerful voice for change in the UK and the world,” Sunak told lawmakers. “Through the brilliant work of the AIDS Foundation he has raised awareness of the issue, reduced stigma and saved lives.”

In the UK, the charity recently led campaigns to extend a pilot government program to test people visiting hospitals' emergency rooms for HIV.

Under the program, which was recently introduced in London and other cities with a high prevalence of HIV cases, anyone 16 years old or older who has their blood tested in an emergency room will also get tested for HIV, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C, unless they opt out of the testing.

John's charity has urged the government to expand the service, which officials say has been key in discovering hundreds of undetected cases of HIV.

“Routine HIV testing in emergency departments is especially good at finding people who would otherwise not receive a test, most often from marginalized communities who are being left behind in our progress on HIV," said Deborah Gold, chief executive of National Aids Trust.

On Wednesday, health officials confirmed that the program will be scaled up to 46 more emergency departments, helping reach the estimated 4,500 people in England who could be living with undiagnosed HIV.

The UK hopes to achieve zero HIV transmissions in England by 2030, in line with World Health Organization goals.

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