'I came out of this HIV-negative. I was the luckiest man in the world'
Elton John is feeling reflective these days.
He has written a memoir, Love is the Cure: On Life, Loss and the End of AIDS, in which he details his drug use during the beginning of the AIDS epidemic.
‘I wasted such a big part of my life, when this epidemic was beginning to happen in the early 1980s. And I was a drug addict and self-absorbed,’ he tells The Today Show’s Matt Lauer in an interview to air in two parts next week. ‘You know, I was having people die right, left and center around me, friends. And yet, I didn’t stop the life that I had, which is the terrible thing about addiction. It’s that bad of a disease.’
He did not fear getting infected with AIDS during the 80s when the epidemic was at its worst and there were few treatments to prolong lives.
‘You know what? When you take a drug and you take a drink and you mix those two together, you think you’re invincible,’ he says. ‘I came out of this HIV-negative. I was the luckiest man in the world.’
He admits that he still suffers tremendous guilt for how he spent that time.
‘I’m making up for it,’ says the singer who founded the Elton John AIDS Foundation in 1992. ‘There is so much more to be done.’
Sales of of the new book will benefit the Elton John AIDS Foundation which raises money that goes to reducing the incidence of HIV/AIDS through innovative HIV prevention programs, efforts to eliminate stigma and discrimination associated with HIV/AIDS, and direct treatment and care services for people living with HIV/AIDS.