Harry meets young campaigners at international Aids conference

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The Duke of Sussex has met young people who hope to influence the fight against HIV at an international Aids conference in Amsterdam.

Harry joined more than 15,000 scientists, activists, health providers, policy makers and global leaders for Aids 2018, billed as the largest gathering on HIV and Aids in the world.

Key to the event will be the testimony of young people, including those from Harry’s charity Sentebale, who will be speaking to decision makers and financial supporters about what is needed to help reverse the trend in HIV infections.

The duke joined a session at the conference where youth delegates from countries including India, Zimbabwe and the US spoke about how Aids has affected their lives.

At the end they all gathered for a group picture and Harry even posed for a selfie with one of them.

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 is continuing the work of his mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, who was the first member of the royal family to have contact with a person suffering from HIV/Aids.

In the late 1980s, when many still believed the disease could be contracted through casual contact, she sat on the sickbed of a man with Aids and held his hand.

Both publicly and privately she supported the work of those helping patients, with late-night trips to east London’s Mildmay HIV hospice, and serving as patron of the NAT (National Aids

The duke’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.

On Tuesday, Harry and Sir Elton John will share a platform at the conference 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.

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