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Last Updated: Wednesday, 5 October 2005, 16:48 GMT 17:48 UK
Elton sends funds to Nepal gays
By Bhagirath Yogi
BBC News, Kathmandu

Sir Elton John
Sir Elton John has set up his own Aids charity
Singer Sir Elton John has given more than $40,000 (25,000) to the leading gay rights group in Nepal to help the fight against HIV/Aids.

The Blue Diamond Society says it will spend the money raising HIV awareness within Nepal's homosexual community.

Sunil Babu Panta, the group's head, said the money would help fund clinics for HIV positive gay men and women.

The World Health Organisation estimated in 2002 that more than 60,000 people were infected with HIV in Nepal.

Mr Panta told the BBC he was very encouraged by Sir Elton's financial assistance.

'Healthy living'

He said two clinics would be set up - one in the Nepalese capital, Kathmandu, and the other in the western town of Butwal.

Mr Panta said the organisation would also spread a message of healthy living within the homosexual community.

Homosexuality is legal in Nepal, but gays and lesbians often face discrimination, he said.

A spokesman for Sir Elton in London said the rock star gives millions of pounds to various charities every year. He also runs the Elton John Aids Foundation.

But he would not comment on the donation to the Blue Diamond Society, saying all donations were private.

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