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On war’s one-year anniversary, Elton John announces new donation to help Ukrainians living with HIV

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Elton performs in Kyiv in 2007; SERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP via Getty Images

Back in 2007, Elton John told a crowd of 300,000 fans in Kyiv, Ukraine, that he would help them end their AIDS crisis. Once again, he’s putting his money where his mouth is.

In a new op-ed for The Guardian, Elton writes, “The promise I made from a Kyiv stage still stands more than ever: I’ll be there for the people of Ukraine. I said I would do everything to help and renew that pledge today.”

Elton says his AIDS Foundation is providing new funding to make sure progress isn’t being lost in “Ukraine’s impressive advances in ending its HIV epidemic.” And there is progress: Since 2007, AIDS-related deaths in Ukraine fell by 81% and infections decreased by more than half.

Elton explains that since the war started, his foundation has awarded more than $1 million to community organizations across Ukraine. However, he notes, “This support keeps people alive, but it isn’t enough. Which is why now, on the anniversary of the invasion, I am announcing new funding. We want to ensure the efforts of the past decade and a half have not been in vain.”

Specifically, Elton’s foundation is now donating $125,000 to UNITED24, the country’s official fundraising platform, to buy 10 biochemistry analyzers for use in the care and treatment of Ukrainians living with HIV.

Elton concludes, “I do not know when, if ever, I will stand on a stage in Ukraine again, but my promise still stands: I will do everything I can, wherever I can, to fight for the agency and health of people at risk of HIV, all in the hope that one day we will end AIDS everywhere, for everyone, for good.”

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