On World AIDS Day, Prince Harry is celebrating progress from the past and issuing a call for the future—with his late mother top of mind.
The Duke of Sussex penned a letter to commemorate the occasion, in which he spoke of his mother, Princess Diana, a longtime advocate in the fight against HIV/AIDS. “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 wrote. “My mother would be deeply grateful for everything you stand for and have accomplished. We all share that gratitude, so thank you.”
In his HIV/AIDS-related advocacy work, Harry often harkens back to the late Princess of Wales, who publicly supported patients battling the virus despite public fears. She memorably shook hands and hugged patients without gloves on at a time when some wrongly believed the illness could be transmitted through simple physical contact.
More than three decades later, Harry, 37, pointed out the parallels between the AIDS crisis and the coronavirus pandemic. “It is striking to now see the world’s leading AIDS activists are also leading the call for COVID-19 vaccine equity,” he wrote. “Vaccinating the world is a test of our moral character and we are experiencing a spectacular failure when it comes to global vaccine equity. 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.”