Sir Elton John is encouraging fans to mark World Aids Day on Saturday (01Dec12) by donating money to help remove the stigma associated with people suffering from the disease.
The Rocket Man icon, who established the Elton John Aids Foundation in 1992 to support Hiv and Aids prevention and education programmes, is concerned about the growing number of children in African schools who are forced to wear red badges to denote their Hiv positive status, and he wants to eradicate the practice so the kids are no longer considered outcasts.
He is urging members of the public to donate $40 (£25) to his non-profit organisation to work towards putting an end to the branding of young sufferers.
A message on his official Facebook.com page reads: "At the Elton John Aids Foundation we believe that Aids can be beaten - by stopping new Hiv infections, preventing Aids deaths and wiping out discrimination against people living with or very vulnerable to Hiv disease.This means fighting stigma, and the biggest weapon we have to fight is in all of us. Compassion.
"This World Aids Day we are asking you to support our work in removing the stigma of Hiv from young children's lives. Today your compassion can help us create an Aids free future. £25 can help us free a child from the stigma of an Hiv 'brand' and give them back their dignity."