Prince Harry calls for regular HIV testing as award honours Princess Diana's work in breaking down stigma

Credit: PA

Prince Harry has accepted a posthumous award by Attitude magazine for his late mother's work in breaking down the stigma attached to HIV and AIDS and urged people to "embrace regular testing".

Picking up the Legacy award Harry delivered a heartfelt speech in London on Thursday night about Princess Diana's impact on people affected by HIV and Aids, 20 years after her death.

The 33-year-old royal paid tribute to his mother's work in changing attitudes towards the disease and said that he and Prince William are "incredibly proud" of what their mother achieved.

Harry said: "I often wonder about what she would be doing to continue the fight against HIV and Aids if she were still with us today.

Prince Harry receives a posthumous Legacy award on behalf of his mother Diana, Princess of Wales, from Ian Walker, (right) and Julian La Bastide. Credit: PA

"I believe that she would be telling everyone across society - not just those most at risk - that with effective treatment being free and available in the UK, that we must all embrace regular testing - both for our own sake and for those that we love.

"She would be demanding that same access to treatment and testing for young people in Africa and across the world," he said.

Remembering his mother's work before her death in 1997, he said: "She knew that Aids was one of the things that many wanted to ignore and seemed like a hopeless challenge.

Prince Harry paid tribute to his late mother's work during a heartfelt speech. Credit: PA

"She knew that the misunderstanding of this relatively new disease was creating a dangerous situation when mixed with homophobia.

"So, when, that April, she took the hand of a 32-year-old man with HIV, in front of the cameras, she knew exactly what she was doing.

"She was using her position as Princess of Wales - the most famous woman in the world - to challenge everyone to educate themselves, to find their compassion and to reach out to those who need help instead of pushing them away.

"In the year before my mother's death, the first truly effective antiretroviral treatments were developed for HIV and Aids.

"She did not live to see this treatment become widely available and save countless lives in the UK and around the world."

As he thanked Attitude for the award, the publication unveiled its new limited-edition magazine cover featuring a famous black-and-white photograph of Diana by Patrick Demarchelier.