Yesterday, Tessy Antony, Princess of Luxembourg attended the first annual HIV/AIDS summit in London “The AIDSfree Cities Global Forum” at The Conduit in Mayfair where she implored people to “get engaged” in the fight against HIV/AIDS.
HIV/AIDS is an important subject for Her Royal Highness and her home country. It is important to note that Luxembourg is a major funder of the 90-90-90 initiative – an ambitious treatment target for HIV set for 2020.
UNAIDS initiative aims to have by 2020: “90% of all people living with HIV will know their HIV status, 90% of all people with diagnosed HIV infection will receive sustained antiretroviral therapy, and 90% of all people receiving antiretroviral therapy will have viral suppression.”
“The AIDSfree Cities Global Forum” aims to end the disease to have an AIDs-free future. The appeal focused on six cities – Kiev, Delhi, Atlanta, Maputo, Nairobi and London.
The Evening Standard called the event the “climax of the campaign” developed in cooperation with the Independent and the Elton John AIDS Foundation.
The Princess, who currently resides in London, has sent Royal Central exclusive images from the event, which she said was “a real pleasure” to be at with “incredible speakers” who included the Governor of Nairobi, Mike Sonko and the Chairman of Fulton County Board of Commissioners in Atlanta, Georgia, Rob Pitts.
Mr Sonko spoke of the good relationship between Kenya and the UK, and the impact AIDS has had on his country. “Kenya and the United Kingdom enjoy good relationships on trade, tourism and technology…Kenya has the fourth largest population of people living with HIV/AIDS in the world,” he stated.
The Princess remarked, “I am so happy to finally see that the #hiv/aids [sic] discussion is being pushed back on the agenda by government and institutional leaders around the globe.”
She said that this makes her hopeful for the future. Princess Tessy is a UNAIDS Global Advocate for Young Women and Adolescent Girls.
She called the speakers “incredible people” and requested that people look up the summit and 90-90-90 initiative to learn about their work.
Speaking of the funding and work Luxembourg is doing with the initiative she said, “I am very, very proud of the work we are doing to empower young people, inform young people. As they say, let’s talk about sex. It’s about sexual health education.”
“As the mother of two young, beautiful, almost teenagers [Prince Gabriel and Prince Noah] I take this very serious because it is a disease that is still around. Newly infected rates have come up again,” she continued.
The Princess recognised that there are other very pressing issues in the United Kingdom like Brexit “that are pushing down the 90-90-90 initiative of the Paris Agreement 2014 on alleviating HIV/AIDs. But it’s also still there. We haven’t forgotten about it.”
Tessy concluded saying, “It’s time to get engaged. I need you all. Join me. Write me. Tweet about it. Read about it, and I hope to hear from you all very soon.”
Other delegates at the forum besides Her Royal Highness were Health Secretary Matt Hancock, International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt, and representatives from across the globe.
Mordaunt stressed, “AIDS is still the biggest killer of women in reproductive age.” And Hancock promised, “We will fight prejudice, and we will fight wrong.”
The forum was sponsored by Johnson & Johnson, Evening Standard, The Independent, Elton John AIDS Foundation, Department of Health and Social Care, and Department of International Development.