Prince Harry Honors Mom Princess Diana in Letter on World AIDS Day
By Rachel McRady
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Prince Harry is continuing to support a cause near and dear to his late mother, Princess Diana's, heart. The 37-year-old Duke of Sussex penned a letter for World AIDS Day, highlighting the work done to help end the AIDS epidemic and the comparisons of the AIDS crisis to the current COVID-19 pandemic.
"On this World AIDS Day we recognise the 40 years that have shaped life for many. We honour those whose lives have been cut short and reaffirm our commitment to a scientific community that has worked tirelessly against this disease," he began. "My mother would be deeply grateful for everything you stand for and have accomplished. We all share that gratitude, so thank you."
During her short life, Diana championed the fight against the HIV and AIDS epidemics. She famously was photographed shaking hands with multiple AIDS patients in the late '80s -- a time period where many incorrectly believed that those suffering from the disease could not be touched without spreading it to others.
In his letter, the father of two also took the time to highlight the disparities when it comes to global vaccine equity in the COVID pandemic.
"Vaccinating the world is a test of our moral character and we are experiencing a spectacular failure when it comes to global vaccine equity," he wrote. "Similar to the AIDS crisis, we’ve yet again revealed over the past year, that the value of life depends on whether you were born and/or live in a rich nation, or a developing country."
Harry called for "breaking Pharma monopolies" and urged governments around the world to uphold their promises in delivering the doses they've committed to developing nations.
He also called repeating the mistakes of the past "a betrayal of the next generation."
Harry added of the special occasion, "Let’s spend today celebrating and building on the work of champions who turned what was once a death sentence into a manageable condition. Let’s spend tomorrow continuing our efforts to save lives and make a difference."
This isn't the first time Harry has spoken out for HIV/AIDS awareness. In 2016, he got tested for HIV alongside Rihanna in Barbados live on camera. Harry is also the founding patron of Sentebale, a charity that supports the mental health and wellbeing of children affected by HIV in Lesotho and Botswana.