When Princess Diana was still alive, she had a deep friendship with Sir Elton John and now her son, Prince Harry, is partnering up with the superstar to launch a global coalition that will focus on treating HIV infections in men. They will make the official announcement at the 2018 International AIDS Conference, reports Billboard. The conference, which is taking place in Amsterdam, will provide the perfect opportunity at its Opening Plenary on July 24.
The singer released a statement in which he speaks to his having been at the 21st International AIDS Conference in Durban, South Africa, two years ago where they discussed that the youth demographic was the only one where HIV was still rising.
“Since then, my foundation, along with other partners, have been undertaking participatory, human-centered design research collectively covering six countries. A critical finding from this work is the urgent need to rapidly scale up men’s access to and engagement in HIV testing and treatment services.”
In addition, Elton John’s foundation will be holding a press conference to share who their new partners are in the Eastern Europe and Central Asia Key Populations Fund, as well as the first to be awarded grants under this fund.
Princess Diana helped to change the world’s opinion about those suffering from AIDS or infected with HIV back in the mid-’80s. At that time, when so little was known about the disease and most were scared to even be in the same room as someone afflicted, never mind touch them, Diana embraced them.
“In April 1987, Princess Diana opened the UK’s first purpose built HIV/AIDS unit that exclusively cared for patients infected with the virus, at London Middlesex Hospital,” as previously reported by BBC News. While the world watched, she shook hands with a man who was suffering from the disease — and she did it without wearing gloves. This was groundbreaking at the time and she made the royal family look warm and caring about their subjects, which wasn’t something that was often said of them. It’s just one of the many reasons she was referred to as the People’s Princess.
While Princess Diana and Elton John had a falling out in their friendship, they did reconcile before her death, as reported previously by the Sunday Express.
“She was very much loved. I loved her because she did so much for AIDS and she was a great friend to me,” said the singer. “She was just loved by people because she had that great ability, that her son, Prince Harry, has inherited, where she could walk into a room and make people feel at ease.”