Nelson Mandela Announces AIDS Project With Princess Diana Fund
November 4, 2002
Former South African President Nelson Mandela has announced that his foundation will work with the fund honoring the late Princess Diana to help South Africans with AIDS and their families. "Caring for people who are dying and helping the bereaved was something for which Princess Diana had passion and commitment," Mandela said Saturday at a London press conference. He said the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund and Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund would try to improve care and support for those with HIV/AIDS and their families and assist children orphaned by the disease.
Mandela visited Diana's family home Friday, placing a wreath on her grave and lunching with her brother Earl Spencer. Mandela and Diana met when the princess visited South Africa in 1997. She died in a car crash later that year.
"AIDS is our number one enemy," Mandela said. "This enemy can be defeated. While the research for a cure continues, four principles -- love, support, acceptance and care for those affected -- can make us winners," he said. Mandela praised Diana for using her celebrity to battle the stigma associated with AIDS, saying others should "learn from her example and embrace her legacy."
"When she stroked the limbs of someone with leprosy, or sat on the bed of a man with HIV/AIDS and held his hand, she transformed public attitudes and improved the life chances of such people," Mandela said. "People felt if a British princess can go to a ward with HIV patients, then there's nothing to be superstitious about." "Her love for children went beyond the European borders and boundaries," he added. "She reached out to people on the margins of society. She made even the most humble people feel special."
This article was provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update. Visit the CDC's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.