Elton John Speaks Out To Help People with AIDS and HIV

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

(CNN) - Sir Elton John says there is plenty of love for the dead, but there needs to be more compassion for those living with H-I-V and AIDS.  That was his message to a crowd at the International AIDS conference in Washington, where he admitted he took chances with unprotected sex, and today still wonders why he survived.

"Ladies and gentleman, by all rights I shouldn't be here today. I should be dead, six feet under in a wooden box. I should have contracted HIV in the 1980s and died in the 1990s, just like Freddy Mercury, just like Rock Hudson."

"Everyone, everyone, everyone deserves love. Why am I telling you this? Because the AIDS disease is caused by a virus but the AIDS epidemic is not. The AIDS epidemic is fueled by stigma, by hate, by misinformation, by ignorance, by indifference."

The singer says he's lost a lot of friends to AIDS.  Earlier in the day, he made a surprise visit to the unveiling of the AIDS quilt on the National Mall. And he helped read some of the names of victims of the deadly disease.