Print this page    •   Back to Web version of article

International News
Elton John Says Compassion Can Conquer AIDS

July 24, 2012

Speaking Monday at the 19th International AIDS Conference in Washington, singer Elton John called for more love for those affected by HIV. "I have just been to the AIDS quilt, and I have seen so much love for the dead," John said of the panels of the AIDS Memorial Quilt on view in the capital. "What we need is more love for the living."

John praised the U.S. initiative that has helped millions of people in developing nations access HIV treatment, but he noted that more than 1.1 million Americans have the virus.

"Do you want to end the epidemic in America? Then show some compassion for those who can't afford treatment. Show compassion for those with HIV in Washington, D.C., most of whom are poor and black," John said. "Americans have shown so much love for those living with HIV in the developing world. If Americans wanted to show compassion for those living with HIV here at home, then it could do so in a heartbeat."

"Millions of people around the world feel ashamed because of who they are. They feel subhuman, worthless, like they don't matter at all," John said. "We have to replace the stigma with compassion."

Phill Wilson, founder of the Black AIDS Institute, agreed that some risky behavior seen among young people results from their feeling unloved and hopeless. "When you have young men who have been denied love their entire life, they will give anything to be loved, including their lives," he said.

Noting that young people who feel accepted and respected are more likely to form healthy relationships, Wilson said families can help stop the AIDS epidemic simply by supporting their children.

Back to other news for July 2012

Excerpted from:
USA Today
07.24.2012; Liz Szabo

This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update. You can find this article online by typing this address into your Web browser:

General Disclaimer: is designed for educational purposes only and is not engaged in rendering medical advice or professional services. The information provided through should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or a disease. It is not a substitute for professional care. If you have or suspect you may have a health problem, consult your health care provider.