After taking a test for HIV live on Facebook last week, Prince Harry has travelled to the 2016 International AIDS Conference in Durban, South Africa to make a speech on the subject.
While at the conference Prince Harry is representing his charity, Sentebale, but was joined many other famous names such as Charlize Theron and Sir Elton John.
“At the time of the first International AIDS conference, HIV was a death sentence. Treatment was not widely available in the developed world, let alone in poorer regions. Stigma kept HIV positive people from talking openly about their condition and kept vulnerable people from having the courage to step into a clinic and ask for a test,” Harry said. “Thanks to the work of leaders in the fight against HIV — people like Nelson Mandela, Sir Elton John, the brave activists of TAG and ACT UP, people like Dr. Peter Piot, and like my mother, Princess Diana — we have made huge progress.” said Harry as he addressed the audience.
Harry wished for a “new generation of leaders” to continue the fight against HIV/AIDS.
Adding on that: “It is all too common for a 12-year-old boy or girl to be forced out to work so they can provide for their brothers and sisters, having lost one or both parents to AIDS,
“I have spent the last few days visiting our new Momahato Children’s Center near Maseru. Our team there created a safe and open environment where young people are encouraged to share their experiences of living with HIV, often for the first time, with their peers.
“Just imagine what would happen if, in places like Lesotho and throughout Africa, children were given the tools to protect their health, to speak out against stigma and discrimination, and to support their friends and family,
“In helping young people to fight HIV, we would not just be ending this epidemic, we would change the direction of history for an entire generation.”
Sir Elton John joined Prince Harry to answer children’s questions about the disease in Durban and what work still needs to be done.
Days before the conference, Prince Harry made a trip to Lesotho to spend time with the children that his charity supports. With his help, children are now able to access the medical needs of which they would have never had access to.