Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Elton John has met with prime minister David Cameron to discuss the work of his HIV and AIDS charity, the Elton John AIDS Foundation.
The private meeting was held at Downing Street and John also met international development secretary Andrew Mitchell, whose department has worked with the EJAF on projects around the world.
According to the department, the meeting looked at the role of the EJAF and the government’s commitment to tackling HIV rates.
John announced the meeting in March, saying he would discuss how his foundation and the government could work together.
“It is startling that in this day and age the infection rate has gone up so much within gay men. It is something on our agenda and I’m going to be doing that when I come back in May,” he said at the time.
Earlier this year, new figures showed that HIV infections in gay and bisexual men have risen by 70 per cent in the last decade.
In 2001, 1,810 men who have sex with men were diagnosed with the disease. Last year, this had risen to 3,080 in 2010.
Total HIV diagnoses have almost doubled in the last decade from 1,950 in 2001 to 3,780 in 2010, the Health Protection Agency (HPA) figures showed.
Experts estimate that there are 30,000 gay and bisexual men living with HIV in the UK today – although a third of these are thought to be undiagnosed.