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Harry addresses global challenge of ‘digging deep’ to find resilience

The duke delivered a video message for the opening ceremony of the 23rd International Aids Conference.

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Harry has delivered a video message on resilience (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

Harry has delivered a video message on resilience (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

Harry has delivered a video message on resilience (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

The Duke of Sussex has spoken of how finding resilience during the coronavirus pandemic has been challenging for many.

Harry made the virtual appearance for the opening ceremony of the 23rd International Aids Conference.

The duke, who is now based in Los Angeles, was filmed overlooking a backdrop of leafy trees under clear, blue skies.

He said the global crisis had sparked a greater understanding of the importance of resilience, as he also praised young people living with and affected by HIV for demonstrating the trait throughout the decades.

Harry co-founded the charity Sentebale in 2006 to help those affected by HIV in the southern African kingdom of Lesotho.

The duke said in the video message: “This year’s theme is resilience – something all of us around the globe have understood a deep need for, specifically over recent months.

“And for many, digging deep to find that resilience has been a challenging experience.

“But for those who have been affected by HIV and Aids, the example of resilience within oneself, and within the community, has been felt and fostered for decades.”

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Harry visiting an organisation supported by Sentebale in 2014 (Chris Jackson/PA)

Harry visiting an organisation supported by Sentebale in 2014 (Chris Jackson/PA)

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Harry visiting an organisation supported by Sentebale in 2014 (Chris Jackson/PA)

Harry added that through Sentebale, he had been inspired by the resilience of young people “every single day”.

Ahead of introducing two of the charity’s Let Youth Lead advocates, the duke praised them for being willing to speak out on justice, on HIV prevention and on creating a more inclusive environment for those with HIV.

“When they face setbacks, they not only push back, they bounce back and they are resilience personified,” Harry added.

The duke called on young people to share their stories on the Aids 2020 online platform and on social media using the hashtags #AIDS2020Virtual and #resilience.

PA