Reuters NewMedia - January 9, 2012
LONDON (Reuters) - Elton John will write a personal account of
his life during the AIDS epidemic, including his friendship with
Queen frontman Freddie Mercury who died of an AIDS-related
illness in 1991 aged 45.
The "Rocket Man" musician founded the Elton John AIDS Foundation
around 20 years ago to raise funds to help fight the disease, and
proceeds from "LOVE IS THE CURE: Ending the Global AIDS Epidemic"
will go to the charity.
In a statement released on Monday, publishers Hodder & Stoughton
promised a "very personal story of ... Elton's life during the
AIDS epidemic, including his agony at seeing friend after friend
Among the individuals it describes are Mercury and Ryan White, an
American boy who became a "poster child" for HIV/AIDS after he
was banned by a school because of his condition.
According to reports at the time, John was with White when he
died in a U.S. hospital in 1990 aged 18.
"This is a disease that must be cured not by a miraculous
vaccine, but by changing hearts and minds, and through a
collective effort to break down social barriers and to build
bridges of compassion," John said.
"Why are we not doing more? This is a question I have thought
deeply about, and wish to answer -- and to help change -- by
writing this book."
An estimated 34 million people worldwide had the human
immunodeficiency virus (HIV) that causes AIDS in 2010, up 17
percent on 2001 when 28.6 million were living with HIV.
According to the Hodder statement, HIV/AIDS has claimed 60
Hodder & Stoughton acquired LOVE IS THE CURE with U.S. sister
company Little, Brown and Company.
It is due to be published in July 2012 to coincide with the 2012
XIX International AIDS Conference to be held in Washington DC.
(Reporting by Mike Collett-White, editing by Paul Casciato)