Prince Harry praises his ‘friend’ Sir Elton John at AIDS conference

In April 1987, Princess Diana shook hands with a gay man dying of AIDS.

The People’s Princess touched the unnamed man without wearing gloves, challenging the previously believed notion the disease could be passed via skin-to-skin contact.

She was quoted as saying: ‘HIV does not make people dangerous to know. 

‘You can shake their hands and give them a hug. Heaven knows they need it’.

At the time, Princess Diana was opening the UK’s first unit that exclusively cared for HIV/AIDS patients at London Middlesex Hospital.

Princess Diana was famously the first member of the Royal Family to touch someone with AIDS. 

It is unclear if this picture is the first time she made physical contact with an HIV-infected patient.  

The People’s Princess would also regularly visit the Lighthouse, both with the media present and without.

According to Dr Rosemary Gillespie, chief executive of the HIV charity Terrence Higgins Trust: ‘London Lighthouse offered residential and day care for men, women and children living with HIV and AIDS, and provided a refuge and respite to people marginalised and abandoned because of their diagnosis’.

Princess Diana was a patron of the National AIDS Trust at the time time of her death in 1997.