Elton John AIDS Foundation raises $2 million

Elton John remembered AIDS sufferer Ryan White during his annual AIDS Foundation benefit yesterday. White, who had hemophilia, was contaminated with HIV through blood transfusions at the age of 12 and when his school found out, he was expelled. His battle led him to become a poster child for those inflicted with HIV/AIDS. After White’s passing, the Grammy winner found the strength to end his addiction to cocaine and alcohol. “Six months after Ryan died I decided that was it,” John told the audience at the benefit. The Elton John AIDS Foundation started in 1992 to help raise money, which goes to prevention programs, treatment care and various support services intended to assist people with the condition. He described it as “giving something back and making up for lost time.” The event raised $2 million with the help of Brooke Shields, Steve Nicks and Lance Bass. John said: “The stigma involved in people coming out and saying they’re HIV-positive is still an underground thing, it’s still a shame-based thing until we can get everybody tested and people to come out and be role models to people who have HIV, then we’re still battling against this disease.” ~Luxy Hariharan

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