Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 13 July 2014

Celebs back Elton's Aids campaign

Sir Elton John is launching a Valentine's Day campaign to raise awareness of Aids

Sir Elton John has enlisted his celebrity friends to back a Valentine's Day campaign to raise awareness of Aids.

The singer has persuaded stars including Jessie J, Jamie Oliver and Elizabeth Hurley to take part by pricking their finger to draw a spot of blood and then tweet an image of it accompanied by the words Love Is In My Blood.

Sir Elton said: "Now more than ever we know how to beat Aids. Thanks to incredible work by the Aids community over the past 20 years we now have affordable, quality treatment which saves lives and dramatically reduces the chances of passing on HIV.

"But these medicines don't work against prejudice and discrimination. It's time to stop treating people who are most vulnerable to HIV as outcasts. Everyone deserves the chance to protect themselves. Surely we have enough love for that."

The campaign also includes a film by Chinese artist Ai WeiWei.

Two versions of his film, one lasting 30 seconds and one lasting a minute, will run on YouTube and on big screens in Times Square, Piccadilly Circus and Independence Square in Kiev, Ukraine, on February 14.

Sir Elton's civil partner David Furnish, who chairs his Aids Foundation, said: "Of course we want people to protect themselves and everything we fund promotes safe sex, clean disposable needles and condom use.

"The idea of this campaign is not to get everyone pricking their fingers, but to get the world's attention; to challenge the equation that HIV + blood only equals fear and isolation. What pumps through our veins is also the love and compassion to keep one another safe and look after people when they need it. The only question is whether we are ready to show it."

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