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Creating an aids free future in Africa, Asia and Europe

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D nate

No More Discrimination

Discrimination is still HIV's most deadly symptom. We have cheap, easy ways to test for HIV, and ever more effective drugs to treat the HIV virus. We cannot use them if people living with or very vulnerable to HIV are shunned, hidden, or denied their human rights. Compassion cures discrimination. It needs no special training or qualifications, just a belief that all people deserve the chance to protect themselves and others. Without compassion, we cannot create an AIDS free future.

The Statistics


1/12 people with HIV in the UK are undiagnosed


80% of new HIV infections outside sub-Saharan Africa are amongst key populations and their partners


Countries criminalize same-sex relationships

Our Response

We believe everyone is entitled to dignity, respect and compassion.

We have made it our mission from the start to support those who are stigmatised by society just because they are living with or at high risk of HIV. Our funding provides them with the means to prevent infection, to access medicine and carry on with their lives. From the red light district of Mumbai to the prisons of St Petersburg and the slums of Glasgow, we have provided access to information, condoms, clean needles and HIV tests to those in need.

As more countries criminalise homosexuality around the world, we have deliberately expanded the work of programmes that offer HIV prevention, treatment and support in a non-judgmental environment to men who have sex with men (MSM).

Only by making sure that no one is left behind can we get closer to achieving an AIDS free future.

Our Progress


Highly stigmatised people affected by HIV supported by our programmes since 2013


£50m in grants committed to support key populations since 2013


We are the 2nd largest philanthropic funder of projects for key populations such as LGBT people, people who use drugs and sex workers




In 32 countries in Africa, homosexuality is illegal. Penalties range from imprisonment, to death. These draconian laws force many LGBT people to flee from their homes and communities out of fear of incarceration, violence and torture. Legislation that criminalizes same sex relationships breeds stigma and discrimination, pushing many into the shadows and away from lifesaving HIV prevention and treatment services. Across Eastern and Southern Africa, one in three men who have sex with men is living with HIV.


men who have sex with men in Southern and Eastern Africa are living with HIV

Aaron, 26, a refugee from the Democratic Republic of Congo, lives in the Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya. When his community learned that he was LGBT, his family became a target.

“One time, my family was attacked in the middle of the night. They came at my home. They kicked the front door of our house. They entered, searching for me.” (Kenya, October 2017.)

Lucky, and John lived together in Uganda until John’s parents found out they were in a relationship and attacked Lucky. They hid with a friend and saved enough money to flee to Kenya. (Kenya, October 2017.)

The Kakuma Camp is home to a large number of registered refugees and asylum-seekers, including many LGBT people who have fled countries such as Uganda, Somalia and South Sudan. However, even in the safety of the camp, homophobia and discrimination still exist.

Moses, 25, was arrested twice at LGBT events in Uganda – where homosexuality is illegal – and his photograph was published in the news media. He fled to Kenya and has been living in the Kakuma Camp since last September.

“I found that the place was so terrible, and the situation will remain that same situation, the same I was facing in Uganda.” (Kenya, October 2017.)

Cindy, a gay Ugandan refugee living in Nairobi, was imprisoned for six months for protesting conditions at the Kakuma refugee camp, where many Ugandans end up. (Kenya, October 2017.)

“The prison was hell. They made us walk totally naked from the prison entrance to the prison wards. Everyone knew we were homosexuals. They bullied us, gave us hard tasks and with hardly no food.”

In 2016, the Elton John AIDS Foundation launched a Fund to address stigma, discrimination and violence faced by LGBT people like those at the Kakuma Camp. To date, the Fund has committed over £8 million to projects supporting LGBT communities in 20 countries in sub-Saharan Africa. In addition, a Rapid Response Fund has been established, which makes small grants to help with immediate threats to LGBT people and HIV services that they need.

Ways you can help

At the Elton John AIDS Foundation we believe that AIDS can be beaten. Our goal is to create an AIDS free future for everybody in this world. With enough support, love and creativity, we know this is possible.