2 d Newsdesk
Sir Elton John and Olly Alexander used their BRIT Awards performance to send a powerful message about those living with HIV and AIDs.
The two singers – who are both openly gay – performed a moving rendition of Pet Shop Boys hit ‘It’s A Sin’ during the awards ceremony on Tuesday (11.05.21), after the song inspired the recent TV series of the same name in which Olly starred.
The series is set during the HIV and AIDs crisis in 1981, and before their performance, Elton’s husband David Furnish gave a moving speech in which he compared the crisis to the current COVID-19 pandemic.
He said: “When a new virus broke out in 2020, the whole world reacted immediately. Governments took action, cities closed down, scientists created vaccines, and we all talked about it night and day. Quite rightly, given the pain and suffering which has been reaped on so many people the world over.
“But when the same thing happened in 1981, there was silence. That was the year HIV arrived, but people with HIV and AIDs were treated with ignorance, fear, shame, and stigma. That silence allowed AIDs to grow into the greatest disease affecting our planet. But we fought back. Campaigners and activists and allies shouted down the silence and demanded to be heard. We refused to let men, women, and children die in shame, and by fighting together, we’ve changed the world.”
David went on to say there is now light at the end of the tunnel for those living with the illness, but encouraged people to continue fighting to “banish” the stigma attached to it.
He added: “Today, HIV is no longer a death sentence. Now it’s a condition you can manage with just one pill a day. Medicine makes the virus undetectable, which means it’s untransmittable, so the fight goes on until we can banish stigma, ignorance, fear, and the virus itself, forever.”