(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.