Prince Harry honours Diana’s HIV/AIDS work at gay awards


Prince Harry has accepted a posthumous award on behalf of his mother Diana, Princess of Wales, for her efforts to end the stigma and fear surrounding HIV and Aids.

On Thursday, Harry received the Attitude Legacy Award at a star-studded ceremony in London, hosted by British gay magazine, Attitude.

The prince told the audience that in 1987 his mother was aware that, “the misunderstanding of this relatively new disease was creating a dangerous situation when mixed with homophobia”.

He continued: “And we faced the very real risk that thousands would die in the UK – including many young gay men of her generation – without making any progress towards treatment of the disease.

“So when that April, she shook 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.”

Harry said that if his mother were alive today she would still be involved in the fight against HIV and AIDS.

“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 UK, 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. And she would of course be standing alongside those who are living openly, as healthy, happy and HIV-positive.”

Darren Styles, Publisher of Attitude magazine, said that Diana “chose to wield her power to improve the lives of gay men suffering with HIV/Aids”.

“Without the expected mask, gown or gloves, she touched and embraced the sick and the dying, when the common misconception was sharing cutlery or a public bathroom would see you infected. It changed understanding, and it changed our world.

“2017 may mark 20 years since the death of the Princess. But it also marks 30 years since the start of her HIV activism, and her opening of the UK’s first hospital unit dedicated to HIV/Aids. And that’s what Attitude is commemorating by posthumously awarding Diana, Princess of Wales, our Legacy Award,” said Styles.

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