People Exclusive
By Jessica Fecteau
October 02, 2015

Thirty years ago actor Rock Hudson’s life was claimed by AIDS at the age of 60.

Today, the need remains for more HIV/AIDS awareness and support worldwide.

In an effort to increase and improve treatment for the deadly disease, the Elton John AIDS Foundation has teamed up with The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation to fund a project in Kisumu, Kenya, and help the 10,000 untreated adolescents living with HIV by the end of 2017.

“It warms my heart to think that the Foundation established by my wonderful friend Elizabeth is partnering with my Foundation to save the lives of young people who might otherwise die of AIDS,” John, 68, exclusively tells PEOPLE.

“Elizabeth profoundly believed that protecting the next generation was essential to end AIDS. Her vision and her humanity are here in this work and we are deeply grateful,” he also said.

 Elizabeth Taylor and Elton John - GETTY

Elizabeth Taylor and Elton John - GETTY

Taylor, who died in 2011, was close friends with Hudson and a longtime advocate for those battling the disease, co-founding the American Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR) in 1985.

Her son Christopher Wilding, 60, talked to PEOPLE about his mother’s passion for the cause in 2013: “She was trying to tell people, ‘Call upon your compassion rather than retreat behind your fear.’ ”

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