The Duke of Sussex has teamed up with Sir Elton John to launch a new global coalition focused on treating HIV infections in men, it was announced on Thursday. Prince Harry, who has followed in his late mother Diana, Princess of Wales' footsteps as a prominent supporter of HIV/ AIDS charities, will join the musician at the International Aids Conference in Amsterdam later this month to launch the initiative with the International AIDS Society.
It is not the first time Harry and Elton have worked together to raise awareness about HIV and AIDS. Sir Elton, who founded The Elton John AIDS Foundation in 1992, said: "Two years ago at the 21st International AIDS Conference in Durban, South Africa the Duke of Sussex and I participated in a panel looking at HIV and youth - the only age demographic where HIV infections are rising not falling.
Prince Harry and Sir Elton John are launching a new global coalition to treat HIV infections in men
"Since then, my Foundation, along with other partners, have been undertaking participatory, human-centred design research collectively covering six countries. A critical finding from this work is the urgent need to rapidly scale up men's access to and engagement in HIV testing and treatment services."
The pair will launch the coalition together on 24 July, while Sir Elton’s non-profit organisation will also host a press conference to announce new partners in its Eastern Europe and Central Asia Key Populations Fund, which aims to prioritise the communities where 96 per cent of people with HIV live.
See Prince Harry join Sir Elton John to learn more about his mother's work for AIDS
Sir Elton is a close friend of the royals, and had a particularly close friendship with Harry’s mother Princess Diana. As well as performing at the late Princess’ funeral in 1997, Prince Harry recently invited the musician to perform for the family under happier circumstances – at the royal wedding in May.
Earlier this year, Elton opened up about the moment Harry told him that he was in love with his bride-to-be. During an appearance on ITV's Lorraine, he said: "I spent some time with him in Sicily last summer and I could tell that he was totally in love, and he didn’t really discuss much personally but he said, 'I'm in love' and I thought, 'Good for you'. Both those boys seem to have been ecstatically happy, and that’s all you want people to be."