Prince Harry is doing his mum’s work.
On Thursday evening, the royal attended the Attitude magazine awards, where he called on people to “embrace regular testing” for HIV and AIDS.
Harry, 33, also paid tribute to Princess Diana’s work in breaking down the stigma surrounding HIV/AIDS after she was posthumously honoured with the Legacy award 20 years after her death. Harry collected the award on his mother’s behalf.
“[Diana] knew that AIDS was one of the things that many wanted to ignore and seemed like a hopeless challenge. She knew that the misunderstanding of this relatively new disease was creating a dangerous situation when mixed with homophobia,” Harry said.
“So when, that April [in 1987], she took the hand of a 32-year-old man with HIV, in front of the cameras, she knew exactly what she was doing. She was using her position as Princess of Wales — the most famous woman in the world — to challenge everyone to educate themselves, to find their compassion and to reach out to those who need help instead of pushing them away.
She was using her position as Princess of Wales — the most famous woman in the world — to challenge everyone to educate themselves, to find their compassion and to reach out to those who need help instead of pushing them away.
“In the year before my mother’s death, the first truly effective anti-retroviral treatments were developed for HIV and AIDS. She did not live to see this treatment become widely available and save countless lives in the U.K. and around the world.”
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) October 13, 2017
He continued: “I often wonder about what she would be doing to continue the fight against HIV and AIDS if she were still with us today,” Harry noted.
“I believe that she would be telling everyone across society — not just those most at risk — that with effective treatment being free and available in the U.K., that we must all embrace regular testing — both for our own sake and for those that we love.
“She would be demanding that same access to treatment and testing for young people in Africa and across the world. She would, of course, be standing alongside those who are living openly as healthy, happy and HIV-positive. William and I are incredibly proud of what our mother achieved.”
She would be demanding that same access to treatment and testing for young people in Africa and across the world.
The fifth-in-line to the throne has previously done work to shed the stigma attached to HIV/AIDS.
Prince Harry gets tested for HIV at Burrell St Sexual Health Clinic to show how quick and easy it is to be tested for HIV. It is a free, simple finger prick test and gives nearly instant results. Prince Harry believes that until everyone is relaxed about taking HIV tests – whether from higher risk groups or not – then tackling the stigma and fear surrounding this simple test will continue to allow the virus to win. Watch the test live on The Royal Family’s Facebook page. www.facebook.com/thebritishmonarchy.
After his test came back negative, Harry pointed out how “amazingly quick” it is and asked the Facebook Live audience: “So whether you’re a man, woman, gay, straight, black or white — even ginger — why wouldn’t you come and have a test?”
According to the Kensington Palace, HIV rates in the U.K. continue to rise because nearly 20 per cent of HIV patients are unaware of their diagnosis.
Whether you’re a man, woman, gay, straight, black or white — even ginger — why wouldn’t you come and have a test?
Last September, Harry visited London’s Mildmay Mission Hospital — the same hospital Diana made famous back in 1989 when she shook hands with and kissed an AIDS patient on its premises.
According to Kerry Reeves-Kneip, who showed Harry around the hospital, the prince said it was “very important for him to come [to the hospital],” because it was an important place to his mother.
In a recent BBC documentary, “Diana, 7 Days,” Harry revealed why he feels obligated to honour his late mother.
“All I want to do is fill the holes that my mother has left, and between myself and William, and everyone else who’s in those privileged positions, to try and make a difference,” he explained in the doc. “And that’s what it’s about for us. To try and make a difference.”
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Author: Chloe Tejada