Duke of Sussex to attend Aids conference and highlight fight against HIV

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The Duke of Sussex begins a two-day visit to the Netherlands where he will attend the International Aids Conference and support the continuing fight against the HIV virus.

Harry will join young advocates from his charity Sentebale using the opportunity provided by the Aids 2018 summit in Amsterdam to discuss issues faced by teenagers who have the disease.

On Tuesday, Harry and Sir Elton John will share a platform as the celebrity – who performed at the duke’s recent wedding – launches the MenStar Coalition, a global Aids organisation aimed at targeting HIV infections in men.

For the past few years, Harry has been a committed HIV/Aids campaigner, raising awareness about the disease and even being publicly tested for the virus a number of times – once with superstar singer Rihanna in Barbados in 2016.

Harry’s charity Sentebale focuses on supporting HIV positive young people in the African nations of Lesotho and Botswana.

The organisation’s Let Youth Lead programme gives young people a public voice on the issue of AIDS and how if affects their lives, and during Monday some of the advocates will take part in a discussion with the duke.

The programme hopes the testimony of the young people will be able to influence policymakers and after the debate they will hold a private meeting with those shaping the response of nations to the threat of HIV.

The International Aids Conference is billed as the largest gathering on HIV and AIDS in the world, bringing together more than 15,000 scientists, activists, health providers, policy makers and global leaders.

The conference is seen as an opportunity to strengthen policies and programmes that ensure an evidence-based response to the epidemic.

Linda-Gail Bekker, president of the International AIDS Society and AIDS 2018 co-chair, said about Harry: “His genuine commitment to the fight against AIDS is inspiring a whole new generation of leaders and reminding the world that AIDS is not over.

“We are so grateful to him for his leadership in the HIV response and the strong collaboration between Sentebale and the International AIDS Society.”

In the the evening Harry will attend a British Embassy reception where he will meet leading young people from Holland.

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