Harvard honors Elton John for work fighting HIV/AIDS

by Sebastien Malo | @SebastienMalo | Thomson Reuters Foundation
Monday, 6 November 2017 15:32 GMT

Musician Elton John performs at a concert in Twickenham in London, Britain June 3, 2017. REUTERS/Neil Hall

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Since the beginning of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the 1980s, more than 70 million people have been infected with the HIV virus worldwide

By Sebastien Malo

NEW YORK, Nov 6 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - British musician Elton John will receive an award on Monday from the prestigious Harvard Foundation for his contribution to the fight against HIV/AIDS, the group said.

John will join the likes of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, former U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Nobel peace laureate Malala Yousafzai as a recipient of the Harvard University-based organisation's Peter J. Gomes Humanitarian Award.

With more than 30 studio albums to his name, the Grammy Award-winning musician is mostly known for his career-spanning collection of hit songs such as "Tiny Dancer" and "Rocket Man".

But the singer-songwriter is also a vocal advocate for people living with HIV/AIDS, founding the Elton John AIDS Foundation 25 years ago which has raised more than $385 million to fight the deadly epidemic, according to its website.

John will deliver a lecture about his work at an award ceremony to be held on Harvard's campus Monday afternoon.

Other tributes John has received for his civic work include a lifetime achievement award from the Rockefeller Foundation in 2013 and being knighted by Queen Elizabeth in 1998.

Worldwide, since the beginning of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the 1980s, more than 70 million people have been infected with the HIV virus and 35 million have died, according to the World Health Organization.

The Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Harvard Foundation recognizes prominent public-spirited leaders each year, according to its website.

(Reporting by Sebastien Malo @sebastienmalo, Editing by Ros Russell; Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women's rights, trafficking, property rights, climate change and resilience. Visit http://news.trust.org)

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