Princess Diana and Stricken Getty Heiress Visit AIDS Clinic
LONDON (AP) _ Princess Diana and oil billionaire’s daughter Aileen Getty, each drawn to the AIDS cause for a different reason, visited Britain’s largest AIDS clinic Thursday.
Diana, the estranged wife of Prince Charles, is patron of the National AIDS Trust, while Getty, the 36-year-old daughter of oil baron J. Paul Getty Jr., developed AIDS six years ago.
Diana grasped the hand of her friend as they listened to doctors at central London’s Mortimer Market Center explain the latest figures on the spread of AIDS-related illnesses.
Diana officially opened the center in December 1994.
Getty, a longtime California resident, recently moved to London, she said, to establish an AIDS clinic specifically to treat women and children.
She contracted the HIV virus nearly 10 years ago through unprotected sex during an affair.
Diana and Getty were told that heterosexual infection was the fastest-growing method of AIDS transmission in Britain _ 13 percent of the total cases up from 3 percent in 1986.
Diana talked with eight patients for about 25 minutes, and paid particular attention to one small boy in the group, putting him on her knee. Officials declined to say whether he had HIV or full-blown AIDS, or was the uninfected child of parents carrying the disease.