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Elton John: 'We must defeat disgusting AIDS stigma'

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Elton John performing at the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival opening night premiere of 'The Union'

© WENN / Andres Otero

Sir Elton John has declared that he believes AIDS can be beaten if the "disgusting stigma" surrounding the disease is overcome.

The music icon made the comments during a speech to close World AIDS Day in Sydney yesterday (December 1), in which he also blasted "fascists" and "idiots" who continue to associate the syndrome with homosexuals.

"We've got this disease really by the scruff of the neck," he said. "But we cannot loosen that grip we have on it. If governments start backing out and stop funding, then the epidemic will start to balloon again.

"If we can de-stigmatise this disease once and for all, we are really going to beat this disease. This is not a f*ggots' f**king disease anymore. This is a worldwide disease that affects everybody.

"Let's get rid of this disgusting stigma and get these people who are such fascists, such idiots, and such assholes to understand that people have a right to live with dignity."

John also called on governments around the world to do more to finally beat the disease while they still "have the chance".

He said: "[We must] fight a new war, to get the funding necessary to actually kill the disease once and for all...We need the backing and confirmation of global governments to say once and for all ... let's get rid of this disease when we have the chance to. And we do have the chance."

In June, John urged Florida governor Rick Scott to continue funding a programme designed to help AIDS sufferers obtain medication.

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