‘Stop excluding gay, lesbian communities in fight against Aids’

Sir Elton John is in SA to represent his Aids foundation at this year’s International Aids Conference.

British musician Sir Elton John during a press conference at this year’s International Aids Conference in Durban. Picture: Masego Rahlaga/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - British musician Sir Elton John has made a moving speech at the Durban International Convention Centre (ICC) telling delegates gathered for this year's International Aids Conference that the world needs to stop excluding gay and lesbian communities.

John, who has come to South Africa to represent his Aids foundation, says although the world has improved in accepting gay and lesbian people more work is necessary in other countries, especially in Africa.

To this day, in numerous countries around the world, homosexuality is still a crime with many gay and lesbian people prosecuted for their sexual preferences.

There was loud applause from those gathered at the Durban ICC when the musician said he'd continue to fight for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender/Transsexual and Intersexed (LGBTI) community until the day he dies.

"You might have to fight for your own life, but it will be worth it because in the end you will win."

He says the only way to successfully fight the virus is by first eliminating discrimination.

"You don't leave them behind, you leave no one behind in the human race. You include them all."

The Elton John Foundation has partnered with the International HIV and Aids Alliance and the Global Forum on MSM and HIV to provide key technical expertise in addressing stigma and discrimination.