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Prince Harry calls for renewed focus on HIV as he continues his mother’s work

Nick Duffy July 7, 2016

PRESTON, UNITED KINGDOM - OCTOBER 23: Prince Harry during a visit to Myplace at Brockholes Nature Reserve, a project which aims to empower young people by encouraging them to take action in environmental activities on October 23, 2017 in Preston, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Prince Harry has called for a renewed focus in the fight against HIV/AIDS, as he continues to campaign on the issue.

The fifth-in-line to the throne said he would increase his focus on the issue through his royal engagements.

The royal recently paid a visit to Mildmay – a charitable HIV hospital located in East London, that his mother had strong links with.

During the AIDS crisis Princess Diana made many visits both officially and unofficially – and famously shook hands with a patient at the height of HIV stigma.

The Prince has also had a number of other engagements in the field – making an appearance at a Coldplay concert benefiting HIV work.

A spokesperson for Kensington Palace said he would continue to have a heavy focus on the issue in future.

The statement said: “Prince Harry will begin a new series of engagements and meetings designed to shine a spotlight on the ongoing need for action in the fight against HIV/AIDS.

“Building on his decade of experience in supporting young people with HIV in Lesotho through his charity Sentebale, The Prince is now determined to help his generation understand that the battle against the disease has not yet been won and still needs fighting.

“He hopes to convene leading figures in this sector and support their vital work in ensuring that everyone – and young people in particular – get the help they deserve to lead healthy and successful lives.”

It continues: “In the UK more people are living with HIV than ever before with thousands of new people being diagnosed with the virus every year. In places like Southern Africa, HIV is the biggest killer of adolescents and represents a very real threat to the success of an entire generation.

“His Royal Highness wants to expand his own knowledge of the challenges and opportunities in the fight against the virus around the world.

“This will see him tackling topics including testing, treatment, and prevention as well as anti-stigma efforts that were famously championed by his mother Diana, Princess of Wales.

“Prince Harry believes that greater public awareness of the innovations in both testing and treatment for HIV can help save lives and he wants to do his part.”

Later this month, he is set to “meet with doctors and nurses who are caring for patients in South London which is home to one of the highest concentrations of HIV-positive people in Europe.

“He will also visit an innovative sexual health service that encourages regular testing for HIV and outreach to the partners of newly diagnosed patients.

“Later in July, Prince Harry will travel as Sentebale Patron to Durban, South Africa for the 2016 International AIDS Conference to meet leaders in the field and to speak to the assembled delegates.”

Earlier this year the Prince spoke about his late mother’s work on the issue.

He said: “She started very punchy [on AIDS].

“She smashed the stigma around HIV on more than one occasion. It had a huge impact, and a huge impact on my life as well.”

He told the newspaper: “I don’t consciously channel myself down certain avenues specifically because I think my mum would be proud. But she sure as hell would be proud of me, hopefully, that I’m doing it.”

More: AIDS, Gay, Health, HIV, LGBT, prince harry, Princess Diana, sexuality

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