Elton John AIDS Foundation: An Enduring Vision
Celebrating 25 Years of the Elton John AIDS Foundation
On November 7th, 2017, Tanya Johnson will represent the Manzanita Foundation at the 16th Annual Elton John AIDS Foundation: An Enduring Vision event at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City. The event commemorates the 25-year anniversary of the Elton John AIDS Foundation and will pay tribute to its founder, the one and only Sir Elton John. Notable presenters including former President Bill Clinton, actress Sharon Stone, and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo will be on hand to highlight Sir Elton John’s lasting contributions to the fight against HIV/AIDS. Tanya Johnson and the Manzanita Foundation have long supported the Elton John AIDS Foundation and its commitment to HIV/AIDS awareness, treatment, research, and prevention.
Honoring the Elton John AIDS Foundation
Founded in 1992, the Elton John AIDS Foundation is a non-profit organization that operates out of New York in the U.S. and London in the U.K. Over the course of the last 25 years, the Foundation has raised over $385 million dollars to support new medical research in the race to eradicate the AIDS virus, treatment centers that ease the pain and suffering of those living with HIV/AIDS, and social advocacy campaigns that are designed to educate the public and legislators on the reality that is the ongoing AIDS crisis.
While the fight to rid the world of AIDS is still ongoing, the Elton John AIDS Foundation has earned the reputation of being one of the most respected charities in the world, earning a four-star rating, the highest rating a charity can receive, eleven years in a row from Charity Navigator. The rating is based on the Foundation’s history of outstanding leadership and ethically-responsible financial management. The Foundation also has the distinction of being the largest funder of LGBTQ health programs in the U.S. and the largest funder of HIV treatment and prevention programs for the transgender community.
The Ongoing Effort to Rid the World of HIV/AIDS
Thanks in large part to the work of the Elton John AIDS Foundation and other non-profit organizations, the fight against HIV/AIDS has evolved considerably over the last few decades. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, there are 1.1 million people living with HIV in the United States, with the estimated number of new HIV infections down 10% from 2010 to 2014. The CDC also estimates that 39,513 individuals were diagnosed with HIV in 2015. That number has gone down 9% from 2010 to 2014.
Yet, the prevalence of HIV infection has not declined among all population groups. Infections have increased among Hispanic/Latino gay and bisexual men. This shows that HIV prevention and awareness is still uneven in the U.S. Organizations like the Elton John AIDS Foundation and their donors are far from achieving their goal of creating a world without HIV/AIDS.
The medical community has made considerable progress in terms of advancing new forms of HIV prevention and treatment. Pre-exposure prophylaxis (or PrEP) has revolutionized the way individuals prevent the spread of HIV. This once-a-day pill radically reduces the chances that a person will contract the HIV virus. It was also recently reported in Science Magazine that scientists have discovered a new “tri-pronged” specially-engineered antibody that has proven to be extremely effective at not only preventing HIV infection, but also at riding the body of HIV by attacking the virus using a three-tiered approach. While the antibody has not been clinically proven to cure HIV, this discovery has the potential to completely alter the way the medical community treats and prevents the spread of HIV/AIDS.
As a firm supporter of the LGBTQ community and the ongoing effort to combat the spread of HIV/AIDS, Tanya Johnson and the Manzanita Foundation will continue to support the Elton John AIDS Foundation.