Prince Harry: Diana would want you to go and get tested for HIV
Prince Harry has called for people to get tested for HIV in memory of his late mother, Princess Diana.
The fifth-in-line to the throne has adopted HIV as one of his key campaigning issues, visiting a number of HIV clinics, attending the International AIDS Conference in South Africa, and speaking about his late mother’s work on the issue.
Last year the Prince made headlines by taking a HIV test himself in a Facebook Live video earlier this month, in an appeal for more people to get tested.
On BBC documentary ‘The Truth About HIV’, which aired last night, the Prince opened urged people to get tested in memory of his late mother.
He said: “If you’re not going to get tested for yourself and you’re not going to go and get tested for your loved ones that you could possibly infect, then… I don’t know if it’s a selfish thing to say or not, but if you respect what my mother stood for, go and get tested for her.
“It’s 20 years next year since she died, and 30 years ago she was in this hospital [HIV clinic Mildmay] and she did something that no-one else had ever done before.
“If she were still here today, she would probably get tested every month, just to prove a point.”
There an an estimated 100,000 people living with HIV in the UK. One in five people living with HIV are unaware of their status. People living with undiagnosed HIV are far more likely to spread the virus, as medical treatment drastically reduces the risk of onward transmission.
The Prince added that it was important for him as a straight man to take on the issue, to bust early misconceptions about HIV/AIDS being an exclusively ‘gay’ disease.
He said: “The issue itself needs a straight guy, mid-30s, to come in and try and normalise it. Once again, I’m fortunate enough to be in this position in order to make a difference.
The royal continued: “There’s so much stigma simply around a name or an acronym. It’s 2016 for god’s sake, we need to start rethinking this.
“Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. When you spell it out, you suddenly go, ‘it’s not actually that terrifying at all’.
“If you speak to someone who’s suffering from [AIDS], of course it’s terrifying because it can kill you, but the point I’m trying to make is, if you can’t even say the word without cringing or worrying or freaking out about it, how the hell are we going to help everybody and solve this problem before it gets too big?
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“I think most people would admit that they’ve had sex without a condom, and there is always a moment, the next day probably, when you think to yourself, ‘I need to go and get a checkup’.”
“Let’s start in the UK, lead by example, and then help everybody else.”
The documentary is still available in the UK on iPlayer.
The Prince joked that taking the test would be painful, squirming as the nurse went to prick his finger.
Moments later, Rihanna proved that she was tougher than the prince, saying: “You made it seem like it hurts. It’s not as painful as you said this morning!”