For more than 25 years, Elton John has worked tirelessly to raise funds to help find a cure for AIDS. Since its inception in 1992, his Elton John AIDS Foundation has directed more than $150 million towards research and education. And now, in a new memoir, he hopes to continue his fight by sharing with readers a personal account of what drives him to defeat this killer.
“This is a disease that must be cured not by a miraculous vaccine, but by changing hearts and minds, and through a collective effort to break down social barriers and to build bridges of compassion," Sir Elton wrote in a statement. "Why are we not doing more? This is a question I have thought deeply about, and wish to answer — and to help change — by writing this book.”
According to publishers Hodder & Stoughton, the 64-year-old's work, titled "LOVE IS THE CURE: Ending the Global AIDS Epidemic," will be a "very personal story of ... Elton's life during the AIDS epidemic, including his agony at seeing friend after friend perish needlessly."
The release noted that both former Queen singer Freddy Mercury and Ryan White, an American teenager who became a "poster child" for the AIDS crisis, will be profiled by John.
In 2009, the World Health Organization estimated that there were 33.4 million people worldwide living with HIV/AIDS, with 2.7 million new HIV infections per year and 2.0 million annual deaths due to the disease. John intends to donate proceeds from his book to his charity to continue finding a cure to help those afflicted.
"We’ve got this disease really by the scruff of the neck, but we cannot loosen that grip we have on it," he said, while speaking in Sydney on World AIDS Day. "Let’s get rid of this disease when we have the chance to. And we do have the chance."
"LOVE IS THE CURE" will be published in July 2012, to coincide with the 2012 XIX International AIDS Conference to be held in Washington, D.C.