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Elton John calls on tech giants to help fight against HIV and AIDS

Press Trust of India  |  London 

Veteran and philanthropist has called on to do more to "champion humanity" at a lecture about HIV that paid tribute to his close friend, the late

The 71-year-old star, who has been heavily involved in the fight against AIDS for decades, made the plea to during his Diana, of Lecture on HIV at the here, reported

"Companies like and cannot pretend they are purely private enterprises. I believe they have a public role and responsibility. Imagine if they put their mic behind debates that could counter ignorance. Homophobia fuels shame, isolation, cruelty and anger, and therefore HIV.

"But if we found ways to automatically respond to hatred with fact, good could be all the way around the world before falsehood even got its boots on," John said.

He said tech companies are not doing "nearly enough" to harness the power of their platforms to raise awareness about health issues.

"At a stroke, we can reach 2 billion people at a moment on Imagine that power turned to compassion and love, injected with real humanity. Imagine if instead of all that ingenuity, brainpower and big data being deployed to turn a quick buck, it was used to turn around lives.

"How incredible if they could start with something as pernicious, as lethal, as the stigma of Aids," John said.

He also paid tribute to his "exceptional" close friend and her "great qualities: her compassion, her sense of duty, and her humility".

The lecture was launched by the NAT in 1999 as a tribute to the of Wales, who was the first member of the royal family to have contact with a person suffering from HIV/Aids.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, June 09 2018. 15:40 IST