Prince Harry is marking HIV Testing Week by sharing a new public service announcement about the importance of getting tested.
“Taking an HIV test is something to be proud of — not something to be ashamed or embarrassed about,” says the Duke of Sussex in the PSA.
“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,” adds Harry, who has personally been tested twice in an effort to promote awareness and reduce the stigma of being tested.
As Harry points out in the PSA, “one in eight people living with the virus don’t know they have it. And one out of four people are diagnosed far too late, once they should have already started treatment. There is still too much stigma, which is stopping too many of us from getting a simple, quick and easy test.”
Adds the prince: “We won’t bring an end to the Human Immunodeficiency Virus until testing is seen as completely normal and accessible for everyone.”
Harry is proudly following in the footsteps of his mother, the late Princess Diana, who was a pioneer in raising awareness of AIDS and HIV at a time when the disease was viewed with fear, ignorance and aversion.
Last year, Harry spoke of his mother’s efforts to promote awareness of HIV and AIDS. “She knew that the misunderstanding of this relatively new disease was creating a dangerous situation when mixed with homophobia,” said Harry, insisting that if she were still alive, Diana “would be demanding” free HIV testing worldwide.
“I believe that she would be telling everyone across society — not just those most at risk — that with effective treatment being free and available in the U.K., that we must all embrace regular testing, both for our own sake and for those that we love,” he added.
Harry was first tested in 2016 in order to prove how easy it is. Watch: