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‘Losing focus on HIV/Aids will result in the risk of losing funding’

Prince Harry has warned world leaders not to lose focus on the urgency needed to fight HIV.

Prince Harry, Sir Elton John and Ndaba Mandela a the Durban ICC. Picture: Kgothatso Mogale/EWN

DURBAN - Britain's Prince Harry has warned that while treatment for Human Immuno Virus (HIV) and Acquired Immuno Deficiency Syndrome (Aids) has helped many people live long and healthy lives, the world now faces the risk of complacency.

The prince was speaking at the Durban International Convention Centre (ICC), where thousands of delegates have gathered to discuss ways of tackling HIV.

South Africa is hosting the International Aids Conference for the second time since 2000.

Prince Harry delivered a moving speech and received rousing applause especially when he mentioned his mother, Princess Diana, who was a key figure in the fight against HIV.

The prince has warned world leaders not to lose focus on the urgency needed to fight the virus.

"We now face a new risk, the risk of complacency. As people with HIV live longer, Aids is a topic that's drifted from the headlines."

He says losing focus will result in the risk of losing funding.

"With that drift of attention, we risk a real drift of funding and of action to beat the virus."

Prince Harry says he worries about the children who are robbed of their childhood because they have to leave school and find work to support their siblings, after losing their parents to Aids.