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By Associated Press

DURBAN, South Africa (AP) — British musician Elton John says that leaving LGBT people behind in the fight against AIDS will only increase the spread of the disease.

He spoke Wednesday at a global AIDS conference in South Africa that has also attracted philanthropist Bill Gates, actress Charlize Theron and Britain's Prince Harry.

Africa is the continent hardest hit by the epidemic, but the subject of homosexuality is taboo in many African countries.

"With these countries sometimes, it may take 50 years. But I guarantee it will change," the musician said.

He said he wants to ensure that LGBT people are protected if they are denied medical treatment or arrested.

Gates, meanwhile, warned that Africa is "chronically underprepared" for a demographic bulge in young people, who are most at risk for HIV.

The largest generation in history is entering the age where they are most at risk of HIV, Gates said.

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