Sir Elton John, global superstar and Founder of the Elton John AIDS Foundation, has announced the launch of The Rocket Fund, a $125 million, three-year initiative to accelerate the Foundation’s life-saving work to tackle the growing rates of HIV infections in vulnerable communities.
“For years, HIV/AIDS has caused enormous pain across the world, but I pray that soon this epidemic will be a thing of the past” said Sir Elton John. “More than 30 years after I launched the Elton John AIDS Foundation, my passion for reaching everyone, everywhere with education and compassionate care is still as strong as ever. The Rocket Fund will turbo-charge our mission and reach those most at risk from this terrible disease. Now is the time. This epidemic has gone on too long. We must all act together to see AIDS defeated in our lifetimes.”
HIV/AIDS continues to impact millions of people around the world, and each year AIDS claims hundreds of thousands of lives. In the United States, approximately 13 percent of the 1.2 million people with HIV don’t know their status and need access to testing. The Rocket Fund will support access to HIV prevention and treatment services for over 1 million people, including providing access to HIV tests, antiretroviral therapies, and Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis treatment for HIV (PrEP).
Sir Elton John and the Elton John AIDS Foundation would like to thank the co-chairs of The Rocket Fund for their contributions to the Foundation and today’s announcement, including Donatella Versace, Tani Austin, David Furnish, and David Geffen. The Foundation would also like to thank the Founding Partners of The Rocket Fund: A+E Networks, Charlotte Tilbury, David Geffen Foundation, Ford Foundation, Gilead Sciences, Inc., Saks Fifth Avenue, Allegra Versace Beck, and The Versace Foundation.
Let your inner Elton out
Throughout Pride Month, Sir Elton John and the co-chairs of The Rocket Fund are challenging supporters to let their #InnerElton out. Letting your #InnerElton out is about proudly expressing your authentic self, showing love for others and taking compassionate action. Supporters are encouraged to join the movement by posting photos of themselves on social media wearing their own take on Elton’s signature looks – or whatever makes them feel their true self – with the hashtag #InnerElton. Many notables are joining to let their #InnerElton out, including Dolly Parton, Michaela Jaé Rodriguez, JoJo Siwa, Heidi Klum, Smokey Robinson and more. Learn more here. The Let Your Inner Elton Out campaign was created by advertising agency Invisible Man and produced in partnership with global communications agency BCW.
The Foundation launched this critical initiative on June 5, the day in 1981 when the Centers for Disease Control released its first report on what would become the AIDS epidemic. This inaugural Rocket Day commemorates the early days of the fight against HIV/AIDS, while committing to accelerate progress towards ending AIDS for all.
“The end of the HIV/AIDS epidemic is within sight, and The Rocket Fund is the push we need to finally cross the horizon,” said David Furnish, Chairman of the Elton John AIDS Foundation. “To end AIDS, we must make targeted investments that can level the playing field, by tackling the inequalities and stigma that prevent people from accessing the care they desperately need. By joining The Rocket Fund and our mission, you can help transform the future for millions of people globally.”
“As we’ve learned through the global fight to stop COVID-19, epidemics do not recognize state borders, economic or cultural differences. If left unchecked, they only worsen with devastating impacts on the most vulnerable,” said Anne Aslett, Chief Executive Officer of the Elton John AIDS Foundation. “It is critical that we meet this moment to connect vulnerable people with the care and resources they need to live vibrant, healthy lives and we welcome all who want to see an end to this disease to join us.”