The Sussexes

Duke of Sussex and Elton John invited to Kenya by First Lady

First Lady Margaret Kenyatta has invited the Duke of Sussex and Sir Elton John to visit Kenya following talks they had at the International AIDs Conference in Amsterdam.

On Wednesday, the Duke of Sussex and Sir Elton launched a $1.2 billion initiative at the conference, the MenStar Coalition, to fight AIDs in Sub Saharan Africa.

The First Lady spoke to the Duke and Sir Elton on the sidelines of the International AIDs Conference where Sir Elton expressed his interest in finding out more about the First Lady’s Beyond Zero initiative, which prompted her invitation.

The MenStar Coalition aims to expand the diagnoses and treatment of HIV infections in men, and the primary aim of the initiative is to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030.

Speaking at the International AIDs Conference, the Duke of Sussex said: “Too many around the world are still ignoring the damaging knock-on effect on education and other community services from not prioritising HIV prevention and treatment.

“We succeed when we put people at the heart of our strategies – when we harness the huge potential of people living with HIV to help guide the delivery of services; when we create platforms for young people to shape and direct the services they rely on.”

The Duke added: “New, energetic and innovative solutions are needed more than ever before – and that is exactly what you are about to see from Elton John and the MenStar Coalition partners.

“Inspired by the growing alarm at the rate of new HIV infections among young women, the MenStar Coalition is bravely tackling the root cause of this problem — the lack of awareness of HIV prevention amongst hard-to-reach young men.”

The First Lady also held talks with Princess Mabel van Oranje of Netherlands, where they discussed collaboration between her Girls Not Brides global partnership and the First Lady’s Beyond Zero initiative.

The first project on the coalition’s list will be to encourage young men in Kenya for self-testing in a campaign which has been called ‘Chukua Selfie’.