Singer Elton John founded the Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF) in 1992 to fight the AIDS epidemic. Now one of the leading independent AIDS organizations in the world, the EJAF currently manages grants for HIV prevention and care in 55 countries, by funding frontline partners working to prevent infections, erase stigma and provide treatment for those living with the disease globally.
In April, the EJAF joined the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic with the launch of a $2 million emergency fund -- established with donations from Elton and husband David Furnish and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey -- which will work to mitigate the potential damage to the global gains the organization has made for the over 37 million people living with HIV.
"We knew from other outbreaks like Ebola and SARS that when pandemics occur there is always a spike in other infectious diseases," says EJAF's global CEO Anne Aslett, who adds that there are 14 million people globally who aren't on treatment and are living with HIV. This population is already vulnerable because of compromised immune systems, distrust in health services and other factors, she explains. "Treatment is prevention. If you spend energy and resources on supporting and caring for people infected, you slow the epidemic. That's what gave us this moon shot aspiration at ending AIDS by 2030."