In Princess Diana's honor, Elton John calls on tech and digital companies to help in the fight against AIDS

Written by on June 8, 2018

Chris Jackson/Getty ImagesSir Elton John was in London Friday to deliver “The Diana, Princess of Wales Lecture on HIV,” a special presentation launched by the U.K.’s National AIDS Trust in 1999 to encourage support of the fight to end HIV and AIDS.

As seen in a video posted on, Elton’s speech specifically called on wealthy technology and social media companies to throw their financial weight behind helping the cause.

“Companies like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram cannot pretend they are purely private enterprises,” the pop-rock legend maintained. “I believe they have a public role and a public responsibility.”

He continued, “I’m used to putting pressure on pharmaceutical companies [and] governments. We have had some success with both. The pressure now needs to be applied to the tech giants, not because I think they’re bad, but because they have the capacity to do so much good.”

John also noted that the negative perception of homosexuality in many countries is a major obstacle in the fight against AIDS.

“Homophobia fuels shame, isolation, cruelty and anger, and therefore HIV,” Elton said. “But if we found ways to automatically respond to hatred with fact, the truth could be all the way around the world before falsehood has even got its boots on.”

In concluding his speech, Elton declared, “I’d like to think [Diana] would be proud and astonished if she could see the progress that has been made since she left us. And for the love of those who are infected today and all those infections that we can prevent tomorrow, let us bind together for the good that we can do.”

Before her death in 1998 Princess Diana was a major patron of the National AIDS Trust and a close friend of Elton’s.

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