Can you feel the love at King’s? Elton John pays a visit to support new HIV initiative

Photography by Richard Young

The programme aims to reach 34,000 Londoners in its first 12 months of operation.

Grammy award-winning musician and all-round babe, Elton John, visits King’s College London Hospital to launch a proactive HIV blood testing initiative earlier this week.

The initiative seeks to decrease late diagnosis rates in Lambeth and Southwark, regions of high HIV prevalence. It is the result of an ongoing partnership between the Elton John AIDS Foundation and King’s.

The new process, which begins this summer, will see routine HIV screening for any patient requiring a blood test, when presented to the Emergency Department. Patients can choose to opt out at the point of testing.

Dr Cyril Noel, Consultant in Emergency Medicine, said “We are extremely grateful to the Elton John AIDS Foundation for the grant that has allowed us to implement universal HIV testing.”

Accompanied by David Furnish, Chairman of the Foundation, John met clinicians who explained the impact the initiative will have, alongside King’s patients living with HIV.

Speaking at the launch, Elton John said “…it’s incredible to think that today King’s can introduce something which not only stops people becoming sick needlessly, it prevents new infections and saves precious resources.”

“I’m deeply proud that my Foundation has been able to support King’s in this endeavour and to see a British hospital leading the kind of innovation that will get us to an AIDS free future”.