The International AIDS Society announced that Sir Elton John and the Duke of Sussex will launch a coalition focused on treating HIV infections in men. Picture: Reuters/Jason Lee

The Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF), a leader in the global fight to end AIDS, and the International AIDS Society (IAS) announced that Sir Elton John and the Duke of Sussex will launch a new global coalition focused on treating HIV infections in men at the 2018 International AIDS Conference in Amsterdam.

“Two years ago at the 21st International AIDS Conference in Durban, South Africa the Duke of Sussex participated in a panel looking at HIV and youth – the only age demographic where HIV infections are rising not falling” said John. “Since then, my Foundation, along with other partners, have been undertaking participatory, human-centred design research collectively covering six countries. A critical finding from this work is the urgent need to rapidly scale up men’s access to and engagement in HIV testing and treatment services.”

Over 96% of the 1.5 million people living with HIV in Eastern Europe and Central Asia (EECA) belong to marginalised communities. The EECA Key Populations Fund, the first initiative of its kind, will prioritise these marginalised communities with innovative responses to the region’s expanding epidemic.

EJAF will also present the achievements of the LGBT Fund, a $10 million effort jointly financed by the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) that was inaugurated in 2015 to support LGBT communities in multiple African countries. As part of this work, the lifesaving Rapid Response Fund, managed by the International AIDS Alliance, offers grants to help LGBT-led civil society organisations adapt to unexpected events that impact the ability of LGBT people to access HIV services. Since 1992, the Elton John AIDS Foundation has raised more than $400 million to combat stigma, prevent infections, provide treatment and services, and motivate governments to end AIDS.

“We believe AIDS can be beaten,” Sir John said.

The Dignity Project