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Royal boost for anti-AIDS campaign

Norway’s Crown Princess Mette-Marit took up the HIV/AIDS cause several years ago and interrupted her summer holidays to be back on the campaign trail over the weekend, seeking ways to battle the disease.

Norway's Crown Princess Mette-Marit displays her T-shirt as she attends an exhibition of the 18th World Aids Conference in Vienna July 19, 2010.  REUTERS/Herwig Prammer (AUSTRIA - Tags: POLITICS ROYALS IMAGES OF THE DAY)

The crown princess (PicApp photo) was among several other celebrities attending an international AIDS conference in Vienna, which opened on Sunday evening.

She traveled to Vienna on Saturday, to have a meeting with youth who have played leading roles in the fight against HIV/AIDS. The meeting was flawed by a security incident involving a man “who came too close” to the crown princess and was removed by security guards, reported Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK), but Mette-Marit later reported “inspiring discussions with young leaders” as they explored ways of how AIDS can be fought.

The crown princess, who also works as a special envoy for the UN’s AIDS project, stressed that it was important to involve young people in the campaign against HIV/AIDS. She was also opening a youth pavilion at the conference on Monday, after attending events with among others former US President Bill Clinton, American actress Whoopi Goldberg and singer Annie Lennox.

Mette-Marit could also see two of her initiatives win support at the conference. One is establishment of a fund to offer financial support for young AIDS advocates’ projects, while the other will set up a mentor system linking young and older leaders of the anti-AIDS movement. She stressed the need for knowledge and information sharing in the battle against HIV/AIDS.

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