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Prince Harry visits hospital where Diana broke HIV taboo

By Tony Jones

Published 15/12/2015

Prince Harry opens the hospital’s new home
Prince Harry opens the hospital’s new home
Prince Harry opens the hospital’s new home
Princess Diana meets patient Michael Kelly in 1991 at Mildmay Hospital in east London
Princess Diana meets patient Martin Johnson in 1989 at Mildmay Hospital in east London

Prince Harry has followed in the footsteps of his mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, by touring an HIV hospital.

The 31-year-old chatted to staff and patients from Mildmay Hospital, which has been offering dedicated treatment to those living with the devastating illness for more than 25 years.

Harry was told stories of his mother making private late-night visits to Mildmay in east London when it was a HIV hospice, and he highlighted how she helped to break down the stigma surrounding the illness by kissing an Aids patient there.

Beneath a picture of Diana signing a photograph of herself during a 1991 visit to Mildmay, Harry put his signature in a visitors' book.

Kerry Reeves-Kneip, Mildmay's fundraising director, told the Prince that Diana made 17 visits to the centre in Shoreditch - three publicly - and that staff faced discrimination from some neighbouring shops which refused to serve them.

She added: "She came at such an important time - around this area local barbers wouldn't cut staff's hair.

"She really broke down the stigma."

Harry acknowledged her efforts to change public opinion about HIV and Aids when he said: "It was here she kissed one of the patients - that was a huge deal."

Belfast Telegraph

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