July 24, 2018 at 2:58 pm EDT | by Mariah Cooper
Prince Harry and Elton John team up to launch coalition to fight HIV in men

Prince Harry and Elton John discussing the AIDS 2018 Plenary Session (Photo via Twitter)

Prince Harry and Elton John are collaborating on a new effort to raise HIV awareness in men.

The Duke of Sussex and the singer appeared together at the International AIDS Conference in Amsterdam on Tuesday to announce the launch of the MenStar coalition which was founded by the Elton John AIDS Foundation, the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, Unitaid, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, Johnson & Johnson and Gilead Sciences.

Kensington Palace announced that the MenStar coalition, “will expand the diagnoses and treatment of HIV infections in men, with the aim of ultimately ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030.”

The coalition will also “support innovative approaches in delivering effective HIV/AIDS services for men, increasing earlier uptake of testing, treatment, and achievement of viral suppression.”

According to People, the coalition’s first initiative is an HIV self-testing campaign for young men in Kenya.

On stage, Harry praised John for his dedication to servicing communities in need.

“I am honored to be sharing the stage with someone who has always put people at the center of his work, Sir Elton John,” Harry said of John. “For over a quarter-century, Elton has worked tirelessly to fund research and services in communities around the world. And today, he has come to Amsterdam to announce his latest endeavor, a billion-dollar global partnership to break the cycle of male transmission of HIV, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa.”

In his own speech, John emphasized the importance of HIV awareness/outreach for men.

“We cannot solve the whole problem if we’re only addressing half the situation,” John said. “If we want to win this fight, if we want to end AIDS once and for all, we must make men part of the solution.”

Harry is continuing Princess Diana’s legacy of fighting HIV/AIDS. She opened the first HIV/AIDS unit in a London hospital in 1987 and also famously shook the hand of an AIDS patient without gloves. John, who was a close friend to Diana, has remained close friends to the royal family. In addition to performing at Diana’s funeral, he also recently performed at Harry’s wedding to Meghan Markle.

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