Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s first official joint royal appearance was at an event to mark World AIDS Day, #SeeRed hosted by the UK’s Terrence Higgins Trust. A statement from Buckingham Palace said: “Prince Harry is looking forward to introducing Ms Markle to a community that has become very special to him. They will visit a Terrence Higgins Trust #WorldAIDSDay charity fair where they will meet representatives of organisations supporting people living with HIV/AIDS.”
At the event, Prince Harry spoke of the possibility of eradicating HIV through testing and current treatments. “We mustn’t be complacent. We’ve got everything here: all the equipment, all the testing ability,” he said. “We owe it to this generation to be able to eradicate this once and for all.”
The Prince is a passionate activist on HIV/AIDS, speaking out repeatedly on the issue. Last October he live streamed video of himself being tested for HIV in an effort to show how easy it is, and to encourage others to know their status. Harry has spoken at International HIV/AIDS conferences in his efforts to raise awareness and attributes his interest in the issue to his mother, the late Princess Diana.
In 1987, Diana opened the UK’s first purpose-built HIV/AIDS unit in London. She shook hands with a man suffering AIDS and the images made news around the world, helping to destigmatise people living with the disease. At that time, many people assumed, incorrectly, that HIV cold be passed on by simple touching. Diana demonstrated that compassion and education was required to deal with the crisis, rather than fear of those affected.
Today, PEP, PrEP and anti-viral medications make containing, controlling and stopping the transmission of HIV possible. If you need to find out more about HIV/AIDS go to the ACON website or search for services in your area.