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Elton John uses photography to fight AIDS

The Elton John AIDS Foundation is raising money to battle the AIDS epidemic by offering a portfolio of 10 photographs taken by some of the most significant contemporary artists in the world.

For $25,000, the Elton John AIDS Foundation Photography Portfolio II includes 10 prints, numbered and signed by the artists, presented in a handcrafted linen case. Produced and sold through a partnership with the Jackson Fine Art gallery in Atlanta, the collection is limited to an edition of 40.

This is the second portfolio project the foundation has offered.

“Combined, the two portfolio projects will raise more than $1 million to help support innovative HIV prevention projects, campaigns to reduce the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS, and treatment, care, and support services for people living with the disease,” said Scott Campbell, the executive director of the foundation.

“From the very beginning of the AIDS crisis, artists have engaged their talents to convey the deep complexities of this epidemic – the pain, sorrow, and suffering, the injustice, stigma, and discrimination, and also the sense of discovery, the journey of inquiry, and new-found commonality, community, and unity – thereby raising awareness of the challenges of the epidemic and inspiring others to action,” Campbell said.

The project stems from Elton John’s own love of photography. John is an avid collector and has an impressive private collection that he has spent years building

“These photography portfolio projects are the result of a very happy marriage between two of Elton’s greatest passions – collecting photographic art and raising money for the Elton John AIDS Foundation.”

The foundation was established in 1992, and Campbell says its goal is “to achieve an AIDS-free generation through innovative HIV prevention programs, efforts to eliminate stigma and discrimination associated with HIV/AIDS, and direct treatment, care, and support services for people living with the disease.

“We advocate for access to life-saving medicines for the poor, we speak out for gay rights and for accessible sexual health services for young people, we champion health and economic equality for African-Americans, and we publicly criticize overly harsh incarceration practices and under-funded post-prison community re-entry programs for ex-offenders,” he said.

According to Campbell, the foundation has invested more than $7 million towards HIV/AIDS related causes each year and has raised more than $275 million in support of related programs in 55 countries.

“Since the beginning of the HIV epidemic, EJAF has known that the fight against AIDS is a fight for healthcare and also a fight against stigma, discrimination, inequality, and poverty.”

- Cody McCloy, CNN