Prince Harry Says Princess Diana ‘Smashed The Wall Down’ Around HIV Stigma

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Prince Harry Says Princess Diana 'Smashed The Wall Down' Around HIV Stigma

The Duke of Sussex says he feels
“obligated” to continue his late mother 
Princess Diana‘s work on combatting the stigma around HIV, as
she “smashed the wall down”. 

In a conversation with Gareth Thomas to mark the UK’s National HIV
Testing Week, Prince Harry, 37, spoke about what motivates him to raise
awareness.

“I think once you get to meet people and you see the suffering
around the world, I certainly can’t turn my back on that. Then add in the fact
that my mum’s work was unfinished, I feel obligated to try and continue that as
much as possible,” he said. “I could never fill her shoes
especially in this particular space but because of what she did and what she
stood for and how vocal she was about this issue.

“But it’s the converging of all these different pieces, the work
that she was doing, trying to continue that, trying to finish the job but once
you’ve met so many people, heard people’s stories, seen the suffering,
especially in Lesotho and Botswana where I’ve seen it most, there is a way out
of it. And if there’s a way out of it and we know there’s a solution, I’m like
a typical guy, I just want to fix things.”

Prince Harry Says Princess Diana 'Smashed The Wall Down' Around HIV Stigma
Princess Diana at the opening of the HIV/AIDS unit in 1987

In April 1987, Princess Diana opened the UK’s first specialist HIV/AIDS
unit at London’s Middlesex Hospital. “HIV does not make people
dangerous to know. You can shake their hands and give them a hug. Heaven knows
they need it,” she said. “What’s more, you can share their
homes, their workplaces, and their playgrounds and toys.”

Prince Harry Says Princess Diana 'Smashed The Wall Down' Around HIV Stigma

Harry paid tribute to his late mother’s work

Speaking from his Montecito home, Harry added that his mother helped to “smash
the wall down” and that she created “empathy and
understanding, but also curiosity” at that time.

“I think that was really powerful to be able to create that
curiosity of ‘Hang on, we know nothing about this virus, can we at least learn
some more rather than being so critical and so judgmental right from the
beginning,'” he told Gareth.

The Duke and Gareth have both been involved in National Testing HIV Week
and the drive to get more people tested regularly. When Harry took an HIV test
in 2016, the live broadcast contributed to a 500% increase in the
number of people requesting a test on the Terrence Higgins Trust website

Prince Harry Says Princess Diana 'Smashed The Wall Down' Around HIV Stigma

Tackle HIV is a public awareness initiative led by Gareth Thomas

Gareth launched Tackle HIV alongside ViiV Healthcare in 2020 to educate
people about HIV and correct the myths that exist around it to break the stigma
that surrounds the virus. “We need to eradicate the stigma and the
misunderstanding around it,” Gareth said. “It wouldn’t be scary if
you understood what living with HIV in 2022 is.”

Prince Harry, who has long supported the work of the Terrence Higgins
Trust, said: “Every single one of us has a duty, or at least an
opportunity, to get tested ourselves to make it easier for everybody else to
get tested.”

This week, in the UK you can order a free HIV test kit to do at home via www.startswithme.org.uk or
test for HIV at your local sexual health clinic or at community clinics like
those held by Terrence Higgins Trust and other voluntary organizations. 

Tackle HIV, a campaign led by Gareth Thomas in partnership with ViiV
Healthcare and the Terrence Higgins Trust, aims to tackle the stigma and
misunderstanding around HIV. Visit www.tacklehiv.org and follow
@tacklehiv

 

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Mr Priceless
A young person with a passion for success and excellence to develop a professional career that encourages empowerment in the overall development of a person which is achieved through hard work. A Journalist with facts and a difference; standing by the truth all the time with interests in Science & Technology, Health, Celebrities' Lifestyle, Crimes, Education and Career Improvement.

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