Article Dec 13, 2016

You are no longer passing

Elton John demands early testing to end AIDS

Elton John wants world governments to fund early AIDS testing in a bid to conquer the disease.

The British rocker told BBC TV host Victoria Derbyshire that the end of the HIV viral epidemic is in sight in countries with advanced economies, if people are tested early enough.

The Rocket Man star, 69, said early checking could save millions of pounds each year for Britain's National Health Service (NHS), as it would limit the number of people who require longer term courses of drugs.

Elton said early testing should be a priority because if people began treatment, "they won't spread the disease - and we'll know where we stand with the population."

The musician’s charity, the Elton John AIDS Foundation, has offered to finance HIV testing in the London borough of Lambeth, the area with the highest HIV rate in the U.K.

The star added, "Most people are willing to have that, and otherwise they wouldn't have a HIV test. It is something we want the government to get more involved in. We can solve this, we can stop this disease from spreading."

According to government figures, 40 percent of those diagnosed with HIV, the precursor to AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome), are diagnosed late.

Elton has long been fighting to end the AIDS epidemic, and founded his charity to fund treatment of the disease in 1992.

His latest intervention came on World AIDS Day on Thursday (01Dec16).