“It Is Time For Us To Step Up”: Prince Harry’s Impassioned Plea At AIDS Conference

  July 21, 2016 at 9:03 am by

Prince Harry has made an impassioned plea for people around the world to step up and avoid complacency in dealing with the HIV/AIDS epidemic during the AIDS 2016 Conference in South Africa.

“We now face a new risk – the risk of complacency…It is time for a new generation of leaders to step forward. It is time for us to step up to make sure no young person feels any shame in asking for an HIV test,” the Prince said in his speech, after discussing his decade-long work in Lesotho with Prince Seeiso to help young people affected by HIV/AIDS.

He praised the achievements that have been made in HIV/AIDS research and treatment in the three decades since the first conference was held, but said these achievements made everyone susceptible to complacency as people with the disease live longer and healthier, and that the younger generation was key to beating the disease.

“What I believe is that we cannot beat HIV without giving young people in every country the voice they deserve. Without education and without empowerment, HIV will win. But just imagine what would happen if in places like Lesotho and throughout Africa, children were given the tools to protect their health, to speak out against stigma and discrimination, and to support their friends and family. In helping young people to fight HIV we would not just be ending this epidemic, we would change the direction of history for an entire generation,” Prince Harry concluded.

Earlier today he and Prince Seeiso, who also spoke at the session, visited the Sentebale Global Village and met with youth ambassadors of the AIDS International Conference. Harry also joined Sir Elton John in signing the UNAIDS ProTEST wall.

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