- Harry, 32, visited the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine today
- The royal pledged to help eradicate the stigma around HIV and Aids
- Said it’s ‘absurd’ that children still only learn about the disease once it is too late
- He also learned about the latest efforts to tackle HIV and Aids in Africa
He spent his weekend snapping selfies and watching rock band The Killers perform at Hyde Park.
Harry, 32, took part in a round table discussion on the disease during a visit to the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
He pledged to help end the stigma facing those battling HIV and Aids, echoing the words of his mother, Princess Diana, who campaigned tirelessly around the issue.
Prince Harry meets staff at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine today
Prince Harry also said it is ‘totally absurd’ that many children only learn about HIV and Aids once it is too late.
‘To me it is totally absurd that in today’s world that young people, the first time they know or the first time they hear anything about HIV and Aids, is probably by the time it is too late,’ he said.
‘HIV needs to be treated exactly the same as any other disease, and between us hopefully we can eradicate the stigma and give these young people an opportunity to stand up.’
Harry also saw a demonstration of a HIV self-testing kit which is being trialled in Malawi, where women are given the tests at antenatal clinics to pass on to their husbands.
He also heard about Peek, an organisation that seeks to improve access to eyecare, and its screening programme in schools in Botswana that uses an app that teachers can use to test children’s eyesight.
Harry has been outspoken on the fight against HIV and co-founded the charity Sentebale – meaning ‘forget me not’ – with Prince Seeiso of Lesotho in 2006.
Prince Harry at the round table discussion during a visit to the university in London today
The 32-year-old royal issued a call to eradicate the stigma surrounding the disease
It aims to improve prospects for the thousands of children and young people affected by HIV/Aids in the landlocked African country.
The Prince also took part in a roundtable discussion alongside three of the charity’s youth advocates from Lesotho and Botswana, who spoke about the challenges face by those with HIV in southern Africa.
As of December last year, Sentebale had delivered adolescent-friendly HIV testing and counselling services to more than 21,000 people, and there are plans to expand into four or five sub-Saharan African countries by 2020.
Harry first visited Lesotho 12 years ago, shadowed by broadcaster Tom Bradby, who interviewed the Prince for the documentary.
Harry’s ‘unshakable bond’ with little boy he met on his gap year
Harry has formed a close bond with a African orphan he first met 13 years ago on his gap year.
The Prince first met Mutsu Potsane in 2004 when the youngster was four years old and gifted him with a pair of bright blue wellington boots, which apparently he cherished for many years – even wearing them to bed.
Over the years, the two have stayed in touch, writing letters to each other about how they were getting on, and were recently reunited when the prince attended the opening of his organisation’s new Mamohato Children’s Centre in a town outside the capital Maseru.
Close bond: The moment Harry was reunited with Mutsu (then 15), in November 2015. Mutsu is a local teenager who the Prince met on his first visit to Lesotho
In one letter Mutsu – who is now thought to be around 16, and whose real name is Relebohile Potsane – wrote that he had been doing well since the last time they met and he has ‘been thinking about’ the prince.
The Prince was just a fresh-faced 19-year-old when he spent eight weeks in Lesotho on his gap year, before joining the Army.
The pair were introduced at the Mants’ase Children’s Home for orphans near Mohale’s Hoek, outside of Maseru.
Like so many children Prince Harry met during that trip, vulnerable Mutsu’s life had been shattered from an early age.
The teen has been part of Sentebale’s Scholarship programme and has benefited from residential care and financial grants as a result of the charity’s help.