William, Harry join Diana's cause by pledging support for AIDS charity

Last Updated: Mon, Nov 26, 2012 10:40 hrs

Princes William and Harry have expressed a desire to carry forward their mother's cause of supporting AIDS charities, saying that despite decades of work by campaigners and huge strides in the development of treatments, a stigma still blighted sufferers of the deadly disease.

Their mother Diana, the Princess of Wales, was a vociferous supporter of AIDS charities and famously helped to break down global misconceptions about the disease.

Her two sons wrote in a letter to the Terrence Higgins Trust that their mother had "believed passionately" in the work of the Trust and called on their generation to "pick up the sword and continue the fight", reports the Telegraph.

In the letter, sent to congratulate the HIV charity on its 30th anniversary, the brothers wrote: "We have grown up knowing of the devastating impact this virus has on lives, on families, on communities. We know, too, that HIV can be treated and the lives of sufferers extended by many years. However, there is still a stigma which blights sufferers of the disease, even today."

The Terrence Higgins Trust was founded in 1982 by friends of Terrence Higgins, 37, one of the first people in the UK to die of AIDS.

"Diana was instrumental in those early days in challenging people's fears about HIV. She also did a lot privately, regularly visiting the Lighthouse hospice in Kensington, completely unannounced and without an entourage, just to talk to staff and volunteers," said Genevieve Edwards, director of communications for the Trust.

Princess Diana was the first member of the Royal Family to have contact with AIDS victims, sitting with an HIV sufferer and holding his hand in the late 1980s.

"The fight against HIV started 30 years ago. Our generation must pick up the sword and continue the fight. There is still no cure or vaccine. However, we know it is possible to prevent HIV from spreading further in the future," they further wrote in the letter.

"Terrence Higgins Trust will be to the fore in this, and for that reason, and because our mother believed so passionately in the work of the trust, we wholeheartedly congratulate you on 30 years of selfless service to others," they added. (ANI)

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