FOLLOWING in his late mother’s footsteps, Prince Harry has continued advocating in the HIV space by doing a HIV test on Facebook Live via the Royal Family’s official page.
Prince Harry has increased his HIV/AIDS advocacy, adding it to his growing list of public and carrying on his mother – Princess Diana’s groundbreaking work in the sector. He head to Durban next week to attend the AIDS 2016 conference.
Health adviser Robert Palmer did Harry’s test and told the Prince it was natural to feel nervous.
“So what’s the biggest fear for people coming in?” Harry asked Palmer before his test.
“Once you’ve got people through the door, that’s the hardest bit done.”
Palmer confirmed many people were afraid of not knowing their HIV status.
About 11,000 people in the UK do not know their status and HIV rates in the UK continue to rise despite years of progress in treating the illness. One of the biggest factors has been that up to 17 per cent of HIV positive patients are unaware of their status and unintentionally pass on the virus to partners.
Prince Harry believes until everyone feels relaxed about taking HIV tests – whether from high risk groups or not – then tackling the stigma and fear surrounding HIV testing will continue to allow the virus to win.
“So whether you are a man, woman, gay, straight, black, white, whatever, or even ginger – why wouldn’t you come and have a test?” Harry asked.
“We all shouldn’t be on the other side of the river pointing, saying: ‘You should get the test.’ To normalise the situation surely it’s better if everyone gets tested. Let’s all get tested.”