From ending world hunger to global warming, it’s not uncommon for celebrities to use their wealth and status to bring about positive change. But time and time again, celebrities spanning generations are coming together to raise awareness for HIV and AIDS. In addition to celebrities like Lady Gaga, Ellen Degeneres, and Bill Gates, there are a few people who have spent their lives advocating for HIV and AIDS awareness.

 

Princess Diana

While many conversations about Princess Diana revolve around her bold fashion sense, many forget that she was also an advocate for HIV awareness. Especially when you consider how little was known about the disease back in the 80s, it makes her commitment to interacting with HIV-positive people all the more remarkable.

Joan Rivers

No celebrity was safe from the quick wit of comedian Joan Rivers. But don’t be fooled — there was a heart of gold underneath her tough exterior. In an interview with E News, Rivers spoke about her desire to help friends of hers during the early days of the HIV and AIDS epidemic:

“So many of my friends in those days were getting ‘gay pneumonia,’ and then when it became known as AIDS, people didn’t want to touch these people,” Rivers told E News. “They couldn’t get help. There was one hairdresser that was a very good friend of mine, and we said, ‘let’s start bringing him food,’ and it started to grow.”

“It” being God’s Love We Deliver, a charity that provides thousands of meals a day to people with HIV/AIDS and those living below the poverty line.

Elton John

"Nobody needs to die of AIDS anymore,” said Elton John at the 22nd International AIDS Conference in Amsterdam. For many years, John has advocated for open discussions about HIV and AIDS and for medications that prevent and treat the disease to be more affordable. John also urged President Trump to support the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).  

Elton John was also good friends with Princess Diana and the Royal family, often using their combined star power to raise awareness for AIDS together.