Sir Elton John has written a compelling op-ed piece for The Australian.

Sir Elton shines a light on how far the world has come in the fight against HIV and AIDS since the 1980s and the possible future of Australian aid.

“When AIDS reared its ugly head in the 1980s it was the disease of the gay; a physical infection for a perceived moral imperfection,” he wrote. "I saw dozens upon dozens of my friends contract the disease and then die while the world watched on, uncertain of how to act.

“As dozens turned into hundreds, then thousands and then millions, the world’s engine of compassion slowly cranked into gear.

“As global apathy turned to action, my despair turned to hope — and by the turn of the millennium I could see a light at the end of the tunnel.

“Now, my heart is set on seeing an end to AIDS in my lifetime.

“When I saw the beginning of the AIDS crisis, it’s fair to say that I lost heart. But I knew that I had to help. I volunteered, I raised my voice, and eventually started the Elton John AIDS Foundation. My commitment to this cause, and the commitment of people all over the world, was reflected in commitments from world leaders, and together we have seen great change.

“My call now is for Australians to go and do likewise. To make your concern for your future and the future of your region known. To stand up for the great work done in your name through Australian aid. To raise your voice, and make sure that your leaders know that Australian aid is part of what makes your country so great.

“The progress that we’ve seen around the world in tackling AIDS promises a brighter future; for the 27,000 Australians and the 35 million people living with HIV around the world. And you’ll play your part in that story of human progress through Australian aid.”

You can read the full article here.

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