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Elton John tells UK politicians to “push things a little further than might feel comfortable” in fight against AIDS

Dave Benett/Getty Images for Elton John AIDS Foundation

Elton John told U.K. politicians that the country could be the “first country in the world to defeat” AIDS, in a speech to Parliament on November 29.

Elton was honored at a reception hosted by the All Party Parliamentary Group on HIV and AIDS for his work with his Elton John AIDS Foundation.  According to the Evening Standard, during the event, he said the government’s fight against AIDS should have three goals: widespread HIV testing, wider access to to PrEP, which is, he says, the “proven safe and effective pill to prevent HIV infection,” and identifying thousands of people with HIV who aren’t in treatment.

He said, “If we do these three things in the U.K. … we can be the first country to end new cases of HIV.”

“I implore you not to waste your allotted time as political leaders,” said Sir Elton. “Take action and push things a little further than might feel comfortable. And as you do, I can promise you this: I will be there with you … [g]iving everything I can for the rest of my life to ending HIV and AIDS.”

“We can be the first country in the world to defeat this awful virus,” he added.

Recalling his own experience, Elton said, “In the 1990s, I visited far too many homes where people were dying of AIDS. I remember the helpless, suffocating feeling as one after another they succumbed, not knowing if it would ever end. These memories are etched on my soul, and they taught me a lot.”

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