On the eve of World AIDS Day, Saturday 30 November, television host Graham Norton hosted The Love is in My Blood Winter Dinner to benefit the Elton John AIDS Foundation at the Grey Goose Fly Beyond Bar, on Shaftesbury Avenue in London.
The focus of the evening was to support our ‘Early Testing Saves Lives’ World AIDS Day message via a call to action for guests and the public at large to show compassion for all people who are HIV+ and to eradicate the stigma surrounding HIV testing.
"Some people have HIV in their blood, everyone has love in their blood," commented Graham Norton. “What stops most people being tested for HIV is fear: fear of death, but also fear of other people’s reactions because HIV has always been stigmatised. That’s rubbish – anyone can get infected. So as a community we need to show that whilst HIV flows in some people’s bloodstream, what flows through all of us is love. Weneed to harness that. To remove the archaic stigma associated with HIV and treat it as a normal disease. We’ve all but eradicated transmission of HIV from mother to child in the UK, because testing and treatment is a routine part of medical care. Now it’s time to do the same for everyone,” challenged Graham Norton.
Guests at The Love is in My Blood Winter Dinner were invited to add their support to the campaign, by tweeting ‘selfies’ of themselves with ‘Love is in My Blood’ banners and hearts.
“We wanted to encourage a mass public tweet on Sunday 1 December to spread our compassionate message – ‘Love is in My Blood’. To date we have been joined by many celebrity supporters including Ai Weiwei, Ben Cohen, Alan Carr, David Walliams & Lara Stone, Plan B, Elizabeth Hurley, Stephen Fry, Sting & Trudie Styler, Ed Sheeran, Florence Walsh and many more,” explained David Furnish, Chairman of the Elton John AIDS Foundation.
The intimate dinner for 100 guests featured a banquet of fine food and Grey Goose cocktails. Cabaret act Le Gateau Chocolat and DJ Paul Harris of ‘Dirty Vegas’ fame entertained guests post dinner.
Grey Goose has supported the Elton John AIDS Foundation for over 8 years and has raised in excess of £2.5 m for the charity. This money has helped to build much needed homes for families with HIV/AIDS in Cambodia, as well as introducing a groundbreaking online support network in the UK and helping make other projects possible.
We are very grateful for their support of the 'Early Testing Saves Lives' campaign and for collaborating once again on a fantastic event to benefit the Foundation.