Wednesday , June 23 2021

Prince Harry calls for HIV testing as "completely normal"



  1. ITV report

Prince Sussex called for HIV tests to be seen as "completely normal and available" in a new video to mark this year's HIV National Week.

Harry said that people should not be ashamed or embarrassed for the test, and instead should treat it in the same way that people protect themselves against "viruses such as colds and flu".

In a video message, Harry said: "The HIV test is something that you can be proud of – and not something to be ashamed or embarrassed about.

"Even if you protect yourself against diseases and viruses like the cold and the flu at this time of year, you can also protect your health by doing an HIV test."

Prince Harry participates in a live HIV test Credit: Chris Jackson / PA

Terrence Higgins Trust, an association of HIV and sexual health, praised the prince's support in the fight against HIV stigma and test normalization, as it aims to achieve the goal of eradicating new HIV infections.

But the charity claims that the focus should be on the fight against the "alarmingly high percentage of unrecognized and late stages of HIV."

About one in eight people living with HIV are unrecognized and unaware of the presence of the virus, while more than four out of 10 (43%) of people newly diagnosed in 2017 have been diagnosed at a late stage of HIV, which means the damage to the system began.

Regular tests and early diagnosis are key, and late diagnosis is associated with a 10-fold increased risk of short-term mortality.

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The prince also said that there is "something to celebrate" with a 28% drop in the number of new diagnoses about HIV over the past two years.

But he also warned: "no time for complacency".

Harry, dressed in a red ribbon sympathizing with everyone who lives with HIV, called for testing to become a "norm" and said: "We will not complete the human immunodeficiency virus until the tests are seen as completely normal and available to the public. each."

Harry has long promoted the importance of HIV testing in both the UK and around the world.

When he tested HIV on Facebook two years ago, Terrence Higgins Trust commissioned a fivefold increase in orders for HIV testing.

Both Prince Harry and Rihanna conducted HIV tests to raise awareness. Credit: PA

Speaking in a video message, he added: "There is still too much stigma that prevents so many of us from receiving a simple, quick and easy test.

"We will not bring the human immunodeficiency virus to completion until the tests are seen as completely normal and available to everyone.

"Two years ago I took the test and the whole process was really easy and the result came back in a few minutes."

"It's easy – thanks to the tests, you help to stop the HIV epidemic in its footsteps.

"This is a very important moment in the fight against HIV, if we can continue testing for HIV as a norm and allow young people to take control of their sexual health, we can be a generation to finally eradicate HIV.

"Not being tested can kill you, by testing it can save your life."

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Ian Green, president of the Terrence Higgins Trust, said: "We are excited that Duke continued to support the fight against HIV stigma and test normalization, overtaking what, we hope, will be the most successful domestic week of HIV testing.

"As his Royal Highness says, we protect ourselves from colds and flu at this time of year – so let's protect ourselves from HIV by checking and knowing our status." It is an ambitious goal, but we have a real opportunity to break new HIV infections in the UK.

"While over the past two years, we've seen impressive drops in new diagnosed HIV cases, much more needs to be done to reduce the number of undiagnosed and late stages of HIV, which is why the HIV National Week of Testing and its royal help is so important."

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England Public Health Director (PHE), Duncan Selbie, said: "Testing and early diagnosis are key to ensuring that people with HIV will have access to effective treatments and live long and healthy lives.

"HIV testing and treatment is free and available to everyone.

"You can take the test in your own home or in sexual health services, family doctors, health care providers and communities across the country.

"In many cases, the test involves a simple finger prick and the results are ready in a few minutes."

Last update: Sat November 17, 2018


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