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"The world has to step up and keep the funding flowing" to fight HIV/AIDS, Elton John testified in the Senate on Wednesday

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May 06, 2015 08:45 PM

Elton John testified in the Senate on Wednesday, urging Congress to do more to end HIV/AIDS globally.

The iconic entertainer and prominent activist in the fight against AIDS credited Congress with changing “the course of the AIDS epidemic for all of humanity,” but said “the world has to step up and keep the funding flowing,” according to The Washington Times.

“This Congress indeed has the power to end AIDS,” John, 68, told a Senate Appropriations subcommittee on global health, Bloomberg reports.

The music legend said the stigma attached to HIV/AIDS poses the greatest threat to combatting the epidemic, saying Jesus “would be appalled at the way people are being stigmatized,” and praising Pope Francis for preaching compassion.

John joined forces with celebrity evangelical pastor Rick Warren at the hearing, with both imploring Congress not to cut funds for the President’s Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief, or PEPFAR, launched by former President George W. Bush in 2003.

“A reduction in funding for PEPFAR would be a huge blow,” John said, and cutting the fund entirely would be a “complete disaster.”

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