SEATTLE — Diana, Princess of Wales, was one of the most prominent figures in the fight to end the stigma that was attached to individuals with HIV/AIDS. In 1987, in one of her most famous moments, Diana shook hands with a man who had HIV: an act that was unheard of at the time. Now, nearly 30 years later, her son Prince Harry is following her example by tackling the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Lesotho head on.
In a recent article, Science Magazine stated that South Africa is “estimated to have at least 6.6 million HIV-infected people–18 percent of the world’s total.” While Prince Harry is not combating the prevalence of HIV/AIDS in that country, he is in Lesotho, a nation surrounded by South Africa on all sides.
In 2006, Prince Harry and Prince Seeiso of Lesotho founded the charity Sentebale. According to their website, the mission of Sentebale is to aid the children of Lesotho who are infected with HIV by focusing on the lives of those who have it, providing access to education, delivering care and working together.
The Sentebale website states that Lesotho has the second highest HIV infection rate in the world and that over half of the population lives in poverty. Sentebale allows the public to help fight the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Lesotho with their donation page, fundraisers and sponsored events.
One of these events was the Sentebale Concert in Kensington Palace Gardens, which raised money for the charity. Coldplay headlined the concert, and according to USA Today, Joss Stone, singer and collaborator of Harry’s, also performed.
USA Today featured a statement made in a press release by the Kensington Palace, which stated, “the Prince is now determined to help his generation understand that the battle against the disease has not yet been won and still needs fighting.”
In late July, Prince Harry will continue his campaign to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic by attending the 2016 International AIDS Conference in Durban, South Africa.
– Liam Travers