Tag Archives: Elton John

Hospital will ‘automatically’ test emergency patients for HIV under Elton John partnership


Sir Elton John has launched a new hospital initiative at a London hospital which will see all patients in the Emergency Department routinely tested for HIV.

107,800 people are living with HIV in the UK ,and of these 24% are undiagnosed – with higher rates in Greater London

Story via Pink News

Under a new scheme at King’s College Hospital, every patient over the age of 16 who is having their blood tested will be tested for HIV at the same time, unless they choose to opt out.

It is hoped that including HIV tests in routine blood screening will help to identify the large number of people with HIV who are unaware of their status, who would not otherwise be tested.

Sir Elton John and David Furnish visited King’s yesterday to launch the initiative, which aims to reach 34,000 Londoners in its first 12 months of operation, in partnership with the Elton John Foundation.

Similar procedures have been implemented in other London hospitals, including Chelsea and Westminster Hospital and St Thomas’ Hospital – though the practise has not been taken up outside London.

Sir Elton John said: “Twenty-three years ago it was my privilege to open the Caldecot HIV Treatment Centre at King’s College Hospital.

 “At the time, there was so little that could be done to prevent the sickness and death caused by HIV/AIDS, or to ease suffering and prevent infection.

“It was heartbreaking. So it’s incredible to think that today King’s can introduce something which not only stops people becoming sick needlessly, it prevents new infections and saves precious resources.

“I’m deeply proud that my Foundation has been able to support King’s in this endeavor and to see a British hospital leading the kind of innovation that will get us to an AIDS free future.”

Dr Cyril Noel, Consultant in Emergency Medicine said, “We’re extremely grateful to the Elton John AIDS Foundation for the grant that has allowed us to implement universal HIV testing.

“Lambeth and Southwark have some of the highest levels of HIV in the UK. There’s no reason why people should get sick or die from HIV, and one of the most common reasons they do is because they don’t know they have the infection. Universal testing is a significant step in addressing this.”

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Elton John to write book about Aids

Love Is the Cure, due in July, will include reminiscences about Freddie Mercury and teenage activist Ryan White

Elton John is writing his first book, a collection of memories and meditations on the fight against Aids. Love Is the Cure: Ending the Global Aids Epidemic, due in July, will be accompanied by an audiobook read by the singer.

“[Aids] is a disease (sic) that must be cured not by a miraculous vaccine,” John wrote, “but by changing hearts and minds, and through a collective effort to break down social barriers and to build bridges of compassion.” The singer said he wants to combat the stigma surrounding the disease, telling personal stories of friends he has lost – and those he has kept. These will include reflections on Freddie Mercury, the Queen frontman, who died of an Aids-related illness in 1991, and the teenage activist Ryan White.

“Why are we not doing more?” John asked. “This is a question I have thought deeply about, and wish to answer – and to help change – by writing this book.” Hodder & Stoughton will publish the work in the UK, and Little, Brown in the US, with proceeds going to the Elton John Aids Foundation. Over the last 20 years, John’s organisation has raised more than £145m for Aids-related initiatives.

Meanwhile, John is planning a “surreal” biopic musical for which he hopes to enlist Justin Timberlake. According to John’s lawyer, the 64-year-old has no plans for a conventional written memoir.

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