Elton John founded the Elton John AIDS Foundation in 1992 to combat HIV/AIDS and provide care for victims of the disease. Along with Lady Gaga, John appears on the cover of Billboard‘s new issue — its first philanthropy edition — and has written an op-ed for the magazine about his efforts to fight AIDS.
“It might be hard to believe in 2015, but not long ago, AIDS was the biggest public health crisis in the world,” John writes. “But we have so much work left to do. There are too many people who lack access to critical treatment and prevention programs. There is still a dangerous lack of compassion for those living with HIV and those at risk of contracting it. As a result, there is a lack of social services and sexual health education, especially in minority, rural and gay communities.”
John continues that what was once “a death sentence” is now “a manageable chronic illness. ” He writes that his “greatest hope is to live to see the day when we win the fight once and for all. … I truly believe that we have the power to achieve an AIDS-free generation.”
John ends with a call to action to continue the AIDS fight — and philanthropic endeavors in general. “There are countless ways and places to give, to volunteer and to be an activist for the issues you are most passionate about,” he writes. “Some of us can contribute money, others can give time. But whatever form and whatever size your philanthropy takes, I promise you it will bring us closer to the compassionate and loving world that we all dream about for our children.”
Head over to Billboard for John’s full essay.