The Duke of Sussex has made an urgent call to end the HIV and COVID-19 pandemics in a powerful new video to mark World AIDS Day on Wednesday.
Prince Harry has narrated a new film from The People's Vaccine alongside Winnie Byanyima, UNAIDS Executive Director, that highlights the striking parallels between the struggles for access to HIV and the glaring inequalities in access to COVID-19 vaccines.
It opens with Ms Byanyima saying: "The world is fighting a killer virus and not for the first time."
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WATCH: Prince Harry narrates powerful new film to mark World AIDs Day
Footage from the late 1980s and 1990s talking about the worldwide HIV and AIDS crisis is then shown, including Harry's late mother, Princess Diana, meeting sufferers.
The Duke says: "There are striking parallels between COVID-19 and another deadly pandemic, one that emerged 40 years ago: HIV."
The video notes how both COVID-19 and HIV have caused millions of deaths, and how because of scientific breakthroughs, for many, life could begin again. Harry then says: "But not for all."
He continued: "This is a story of how corporate greed and political failure have prolonged both pandemics and what we can do to stop it."
Harry then added: "By ending vaccine monopolies and sharing technology, companies in the developing world can start producing Covid vaccines too…Break the monopolies…deliver a People's Vaccine."
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The Sussexes have been campaigning for vaccine equity. Credit: The People's Vaccine
Harry co-founded Sentebale in 2006 in memory of his mother's charitable work in combating the HIV crisis. He and wife Meghan have been campaigning for global vaccine equity, making several public appearances in New York in September, including at Global Citizen Live.
In response, Christine Stegling, Executive Director at Frontline AIDS says: "This is not the first time the governments of rich countries have moved on from a problem as soon as it appears to be in someone else’s back yard. We saw it with AIDS, where the transformative impact of HIV treatments in rich countries has seen urgency, focus and funding for the global response fall sharply, and we are starting to see the same thing with Covid-19. We cannot allow history to repeat itself.
"The COVID-19 pandemic is far from over, but high-income, high-vaccination countries are already starting to talk about future pandemics, while turning a blind eye to those that continue to impact poorer regions. This will only prolong the pain of existing pandemics, placing millions of lives at risk. We urgently need a People's Vaccine to benefit everyone, everywhere."
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