The theme of AIDS 2018 is “Breaking Barriers, Building Bridges”, drawing attention to the need of rights-based approaches to more effectively reach key populations.
The International AIDS Conference (AIDS2018) is the largest conference on any global health issue in the world. First convened during the peak of the AIDS epidemic in 1985, it continues to provide a unique forum for the intersection of science, advocacy, and human rights.
At the conference The Duke of Sussex joined Sentebale’s ‘Let Youth Lead’ advocates to discuss the challenges of young people living with HIV and those affected by the epidemic in southern Africa. The Let Youth Lead advocacy programme aims to engage policymakers to drive positive change in HIV interventions that better support the younger generation.
His Royal Highness attended a meeting with influential leaders from organisations working in HIV response.
On the second day of his visit, The Duke joined a plenary session with Sir Elton John and Ndaba Mandela to launch a new coalition of global AIDS funders – the MenStar Coalition.
“This initiative is focused on the tough but essential work of truly changing mind-sets,” said Prince Harry. “Inspired by the growing alarm at the rate of new HIV infections among young women, this campaign is bravely tackling the root cause of this problem — the lack of awareness of HIV prevention amongst hard-to-reach young men. And it will be guided by listening to and respecting the voices of the young men the coalition is trying to reach.”