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Harvard honors Elton John for efforts to fight HIV, AIDS

entertainment / Celebrities and Showbiz
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Harvard honors Elton John for efforts to fight HIV, AIDS

/ 04:45 PM November 08, 2017
Elton John

Musician Elton John holds up the 2017 Harvard Humanitarian of the Year Award after being presented with the award Monday, Nov. 6, 2017, during ceremonies at Harvard University, in Cambridge, Mass. Elton John was recognized during the ceremonies for his work in combating HIV/AIDS around the world. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) — Elton John has been honored at Harvard University for his philanthropic efforts to fight HIV and AIDS.

The 70-year-old singer was awarded the Harvard Foundation’s Peter J. Gomes Humanitarian Award at a ceremony Monday.

Previous winners include former South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu and former Secretaries General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon, Kofi Annan, singer Rihanna and Malala Yousafzai.

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Elton John

Musician Elton John, right, hugs Chase Sullivan, son of Harvard professors, center left, after Sullivan presented him with flowers during Harvard Humanitarian of the Year Award ceremonies Monday, Nov. 6, 2017, on the campus of Harvard University, in Cambridge, Mass. The musician was presented with the award for his long time work in fighting HIV/AIDS around the world. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

John says he lost friends to AIDS, and regrets not doing more to help as he battled addictions early in his career.

He says his life changed when he met Ryan White, an Indiana teenager who became the poster child for HIV awareness during the 1980s AIDS crisis.

Musician Elton John gestures before being presented with the Harvard Humanitarian of the Year Award during ceremonies Monday, Nov. 6, 2017, on the campus of Harvard University, in Cambridge, Mass. John was recognized during the ceremonies for his work in fighting HIV/AIDS around the world. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

“I promise you, we can rise above it and lift people up. We can pull together, we can change the world. It all starts with embracing our common humanity. It’s the most powerful force on earth,” said John in his acceptance speech.

John’s AIDS foundation has raised more than $300 million for HIV- and AIDS-related programs since it was established in 1992. NVG

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Elton John: LGBT people must be part of AIDS fight

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TAGS: Elton John, Elton John AIDS Foundation, HIV/AIDS
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