Prince Harry makes HIV Testing Plea
Royal marks HIV testing week with an emotional speech
Prince Harry has called for an end to the stigma surrounding HIV testing in an emotional video to mark this year’s HIV Testing Week. He called for HIV testing to be seen as “completely normal and accessible” and not something to feel embarrassed or ashamed about.
Speaking to the camera wearing the red HIV awareness ribbon, he said: “Taking an HIV test is something to be proud of – not something to be ashamed or embarrassed about. As much as you protect yourself at this time of year from illnesses and viruses like cold and flu, you can also protect your health by taking an HIV test.”
The Duke of Sussex also commended a drop in new diagnosis of HIV over the last two years, with reported cases down by 28%. He did however acknowledge that there was no time to be complacent, as health charities set out the ambitious aim to eradicate new infections in the UK.
Indeed the battle to eradicate new diagnoses in the UK is going to be a difficult one – despite the drop in overall diagnoses, 43% of cases reported in 2017 were identified at a late stage of HIV where damage has already been done to the immune system.
The video of Prince Harry is not the first time he has supported the drive for HIV awareness. In 2016 he was filmed in a Facebook Live video undergoing an HIV test of his own for the cameras. The move reportedly saw demand for testing increase five fold according to the HIV charity Terrence Higgins Trust.
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