When Prince Harry took an HIV test yesterday, another little bit of stigma’s continuing stain was scrubbed away. Each time we emphasise that HIV is not a source of shame, and that getting tested for it can save lives, we hope to help people living with HIV worldwide.
The prince took the HIV test live on Facebook at London’s Burrell Street clinic. His result was negative. “It’s better that everyone goes and gets tested,” he said afterwards. “Why wouldn’t you?
“Whether you’re a man, woman, gay, straight, black, white, whatever, even ginger, why wouldn’t you come and have a test?” he added.
The importance of testing in improving the health of those living unknowingly with the virus – in the UK, one in five people with HIV – cannot be underestimated. Early diagnosis enables individuals to get access to today’s life-saving treatment which makes it possible for them to live full, long lives.
Harry was also taught a little at Burrell Street about postal testing kits, which make it even easier to know your status. To mark the prince’s support for HIV testing, our parent charity, Saving Lives, is making 200 postal HIV testing kits available free via our request system. Simply visit the order page and enter the code ‘HARRY’ when prompted. A kit will be delivered directly to the address you provide.
Take the test. It’s best to know your status – and by doing so you’ll be helping stop the spread of HIV, too.