Elton John to meet David Cameron over gay HIV rates

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Elton John says he will meet prime minister David Cameron to discuss what can be done to tackle UK HIV rates in gay men.

The pop legend and HIV campaigner said he had a date in the diary to speak to the prime minister.

John, who set up the Elton John AIDS Foundation in 1992, was speaking to Gaydar Radio’s Neil Sexton and Debbie Ryan yesterday.

Sexten said: “We’ve been told that HIV prevention services in London face a funding cut of about 43 per cent, and that’s on the back of the news that in the last ten years we’ve seen a 70 per cent rise in new diagnosis of HIV infections in gay men. If you could both speak to the government and to David Cameron what would you say?”

John replied: “I’m going to see David Cameron when I come back in April, I have a date in my diary to see him. I’m going to be talking with him – with the people who work with my AIDS foundation – to talk about this very thing and to see what the government is going to do about it – and to see how we can work together.

“It is startling that in this day and age [that] the infection rate has gone up so much within gay men. It is something on our agenda and I’m going to be doing that when I come back in May.”

A Downing Street source confirmed to PinkNews.co.uk that a private meeting would take place in the next couple of months.

John and his civil partner David Furnish were voted campaigners of the year for 2011 in the Gaydar Heroes Awards.

Furnish, who is the chairman of John’s AIDS Foundation, told the radio station that he was particularly concerned about younger gay men not understanding safe-sex messages.

He said: “The new younger generation of gay men that are out there, they didn’t get the same safe-sex messages that I got when I was growing up – when I was becoming aware of my sexuality.

“There has been a decrease in funding, cutting that funding further is disastrous because there is so much misinformation out there relating to HIV and how it’s transmitted and how it affects people.

“We need to continue – as each new generation comes along and becomes sexually active – we need continue to make them aware and understand the risks of HIV”.