Prince Harry tells everyone to get a HIV test
Prince Harry (Photo: Shutterstock)

Prince Harry has recalled how his mom, Princess Diana, helped to challenge HIV stigma and raise awareness around the virus. 

Harry made the comments in a letter to mark the 40th anniversary of the UK’s Terrence Higgins Trust. The sexual health charity was founded in 1983, a few months after the death of a gay man, Terry Higgins. He was one of the first people in the UK to die from AIDS. 

“I’ve been involved with Terrence Higgins Trust for a number of years, and the fight to end this epidemic is a big piece of my mum’s legacy,” Harry said. “While my mother did not live to see the success of today’s treatments, I feel immense pride in being able to continue her advocacy with you.”

“My mother grew up in a world where HIV was likely a death sentence. Yet, in the midst of all that uncertainty, she led with empathy, finding the humanity in all around her and demonstrating the power of connection in the face of fear.”

“As Terrence Higgins Trust has evolved over the years, their goal has remained the same: end new transmissions,” he continued. “Terrence Higgins Trust has pledged to make England the first country to end new HIV cases by 2030, but they need all of us to do our part by encouraging testing so we all know our status, eradicating stigma that thrives on silence, and donating the resources Terrence Higgins Trust needs to keep up their efforts at pace.”

Prince Harry’s message appeared in a catalog promoting a fundraising auction THT held at Christie’s in London last night. A spokesperson for THT tells Queerty the event raised in excess of £200,000 ($235,000).

The UK is one of a handful of countries that has hit a 90:90:90 target set by UNAIDS. That means 90% of those with HIV in the UK are diagnosed, 90% of those are on medication, and 90% are virally suppressed.

It’s now aiming to try and eliminate HIV transmission fully by 2030. 

Princess Diana challenges views around HIV

Princess Diana famously visited AIDS wards in the 1980s and 90s and made headlines for holding the hands of gay men who were ill with the virus. At the time, this simple gesture helped tackle some of the stigma faced by those living with HIV.

Princess Diana visiting a patient at the London Lighthouse, a center for people with HIV and AIDS
Princess Diana visiting a patient at the London Lighthouse October 1996 (Photo: Jayne Fincher/Getty Images)

Prince Harry has spoken before about carrying on his mother’s work. He has been filmed taking an HIV test and has raised money for HIV-related causes.

At least $1,500,000 of the money made from his memoir, Spare, was donated to the charity Sentebale. He set up the non-profit in 2006 to support children and young people living with HIV in Lesotho and Botswana.

The prince also spoke out again about his mom on Saturday. He took part in an online interview with trauma and healing therapist Dr. Gabor Maté, during which he revealed he always “felt slightly different to the rest of my family… and I know that my mum felt the same.”

He also said that he’d put off seeking therapy for a long time, initially worried it might distance him from memories of his mother. 

“One of the things I was most scared about was losing the feeling that I had of my mom. I thought that if I went to therapy that it would cure me, and that I would lose whatever I had left, whatever … I had managed to hold onto of my mother. And it turns out it wasn’t the case, I didn’t lose that,” he told Maté. 

“It was the opposite. I turned what I thought was supposed to be sadness, to try to prove to her that I missed her, into realizing that actually, she really just wanted me to be happy. And that was a huge weight off my chest.”

Coronation

Harry and his wife Meghan recently confirmed they have been invited to attend King Charles’s coronation. The event takes place in May. A spokesperson told the Sunday Times, “I can confirm The Duke has recently received email correspondence from His Majesty’s office regarding the coronation. An immediate decision on whether The Duke and Duchess will attend will not be disclosed by us at this time.”

Don't forget to share:

Help make sure LGBTQ+ stories are being told...

We can't rely on mainstream media to tell our stories. That's why we don't lock Queerty articles behind a paywall. Will you support our mission with a contribution today?

Cancel anytime · Proudly LGBTQ+ owned and operated