Last month, Sir Elton attended the International AIDS Conference in Amsterdam.
At the conference’s Opening Plenary, the founder of the Elton John AIDS Foundation was joined on stage by HRH Duke of Sussex and Ndaba Mandela, the grandson of international human rights icon Nelson Mandela, to unveil a new billion-dollar initiative called MenStar– a new global coalition focused on testing and treating HIV infections in men as a key strategy to breaking the cycle of HIV transmission and achieving an AIDS-free generation. Elton also met with the First Lady of Kenya, Margaret Gakuo Kenyatta, to discuss the implementation of one of the MenStar Coalition’s first initiatives: an HIV self-testing campaign aimed at young men in Kenya.
“Two years ago, at the 21st International AIDS Conference in Durban, South Africa, HRH the Duke of Sussex and I participated in a panel looking at HIV and youth – the only age demographic where HIV infections are rising not falling” commented Elton.
“Since then, my foundation, along with other partners, have been undertaking participatory, human-centered design research collectively covering six countries. A critical finding from this work is the urgent need to rapidly scale up men’s access to and engagement in HIV testing and treatment services.”