Prince Harry

Prince Harry

Britain's Prince Harry made a secret visit to an HIV hospital last week.

The prince - who turned 32 on Thursday (15.09.16) - spent time meeting patients and talking to staff at Mildmay Mission Hospital in East London last Friday (09.09.16), shortly after returning to the UK from Africa.

He previously visited the hospital publicly in December and it is the same facility where his late mother Princess Diana famously shook hands with an AIDS patient and kissed him on the cheek during a visit in 1989.

A spokesperson for the prince told People: "He had a chance to speak to staff there for a bit longer.

"He met with patients and spent some time learning a bit more about the work there.

"He is continuing to learn more about HIV as a virus, and he was able to talk to them about his work on testing, which he is very interested in."

Diana previously visited the facility around 17 times, with only three of her trips to Mildmay done in public.

And Harry admitted he was amazed his mother was able to sneak in without the media finding out.

Kerry Reeves-Kneip, director of fundraising, said: "[Harry asked] 'How on earth did she get away with sneaking in and out?' and said, 'If only I could do that!'

"He said it was very important for him to come here. This was a very important place to her and she made a number of visits here."

In July, Harry took an HIV test in a procedure broadcast live on Facebook in a bid to raise awareness and encourage others to get tested, and he has been praised for his stance.

Juley Ayres, communications manager at Mildmay, said: "Many of our patients feel afraid to disclose the fact that they are living with HIV because of stigma, and this can cause enormous anxiety. Stigma and discrimination is cited as one of the main reasons why people are reluctant to get tested, disclose their HIV status and take antiretroviral drugs.

"As an organisation, we are deeply impressed and heartened to witness the work Prince Harry is doing to break down stigma, encourage testing and raise HIV awareness. We feel privileged to be able to support this work in any way we can."