Years after her tragic death, people revisited Princess Diana’s HIV works, which forever changed the whole world.
Before Princess Diana faced the unfortunate accident in 1997, she devoted her whole life to beat HIV and AIDS.
In 1981, the Princess of Wales started launching charity works amid the heightened HIV/AIDS epidemic. During that time, public misinformation also spread out, and it affected the lives of the patients.
But through her initiative, the world learned how HIV could be contracted.
During the same year, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) announced that they identified cases of a pneumonia-like disease that compromised the immune systems of gay men.
In 1982, the CDC labeled the cause of the epidemic as Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome or AIDS. The following year, French and American scientists that HIV caused AIDS among the LGBTQ community.
Medical professionals clarified that it could be transmitted through bodily fluids such as semen, blood, and vaginal and rectal fluid.
However, public ignorance and fear caused people to think that it could spread through physical contact, too.
But Princess Diana became the game changer when she visited AIDS patients at a hospital in London in 1987.
She talked with several patients at that time and listened to their stories. But that one photo her where she shook hands with an unidentified AIDS patient became an eye-opener.
“If a royal was allowed to go in shake a patient’s hands, somebody at the bus stop or the supermarket could do the same,” a nurse who witnessed Diana’s hospital visit said. “That really educated the people.”
After her death, Prince Harry took over and kept her legacy burning by raising awareness to break HIV stigma.
In one instance, the Duke of Sussex announced last year that he would be working with rugby star Gareth Thomas. The sportsman bravely revealed his HIV status in a tweet prior to meeting the royal prince.
In 2009, Thomas admitted that he is gay, making him the first U.K-based rugby player to reveal an HIV status.
Although Prince Harry already stepped down from his senior royal position, he still unceasingly continues what her mother started.
The Duke of Sussex and his wife, Meghan Markle, officially left the monarchy in March 2020.
Featured Image courtesy of Russ Quinlan/Wikimedia Commons
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