LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Britain’s Prince Harry revealed one of his biggest fears on Monday - public speaking - as he coaxed other celebrities to speak out about their secret anxieties as part of an online campaign to reduce stigma associated with HIV/AIDS.
By revealing their hidden fears and guilty pleasures the campaigners, including British singer Paloma Faith and American artist Nicole Scherzinger, want to encourage everybody to share their secrets using the hashtag #FeelNoShame.
Prince Harry, 30, who is fourth in line to the British throne, said thousands of children died needlessly of HIV every year because their illness was kept secret.
HIV is the second biggest cause of death amongst those aged between 10 and 19 years old around the world and is the top killer in Africa.
“One tragic issue in particular is the shame and stigma linked to HIV,” Prince Harry said in a statement as he launched the campaign on World Aids Day.
“This causes thousands of children to needlessly die each year because they’re keeping their illness a secret and not getting the medical attention they need.”
The #FeelNoShame campaign by charity Sentebale, founded by Prince Harry and Prince Seeiso of Lesotho in 2006, aims to prevent the spread of the virus by encouraging HIV-affected people to speak out and seek support, with a particular focus on helping HIV-positive children in Lesotho.
Lesotho has the third highest HIV/AIDS prevalence in the world and 38,000 of its children are HIV-positive, according to UN AIDS.
“Believe it or not, I get incredibly nervous before public speaking, no matter how big the crowd or the audience,” Prince Harry revealed in a video on YouTube.
Paloma Faith’s “terrible dark secret” is to spend hours looking at other people’s profiles on picture-sharing website Instagram and eat chocolate when she feels depressed and mad.
Scherzinger, 36, a former member of the Pussycat Dolls and judge on the TV talent show “The X Factor”, revealed she often doesn’t feel “worth it” or “enough”.
Editing by Ros Russell