You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Prince Harry takes HIV test live in sexual health clinic in 'groundbreaking moment' to raise awareness of condition

Mirror Mirror 14/07/2016 By Steve Robson

Prince Harry had an HIV test live on social media in a bid to 'normalise' the procedure and bring greater awareness of the condition.

It was a "groundbreaking moment in the fight against HIV", according to the Terrence Higgins Trust.

The 31-year-old prince visited the sexual health clinic at Guys and St Thomas' hospital today.

His visit was streamed live via the Royal Family's Facebook page.

The quick pin-prick test proved negative within a few minutes.

Harry had to wait a few moments while the sample was mixed with chemicals and poured into a test tray where a developing solution was added.

The negative result was indicated by a blue spot seen in the tray - if two spots had appeared he would have needed further tests to confirm if he was HIV positive.

With an estimated 11,000 people in the UK unaware they have the virus, Harry took the step of being publicly tested to help tackle the stigma surrounding the disease.

© Provided by Mirror As he waited for the test result to appear, Robert Palmer, a lead health adviser and psychosexual counsellor who carried out the procedure, asked the Prince: "You all right?" and Harry replied "I'm OK".

Mr Palmer said afterwards: "He was anxious, he said so, but everything was all right in the end."

Asked about the significance of a member of the Royal Family being tested for HIV, he said: "It means this is a test for everybody - it doesn't matter who you are, it's a good idea to have an HIV test."

Ian Green, Chief Executive of Terrence Higgins Trust, said: "Prince Harry’s decision to take an HIV test, live on social media, is a groundbreaking moment in the fight against HIV.

"Not only does it show His Royal Highness’s genuine and personal commitment to tackling the HIV epidemic, it will amplify a message to millions all over the world: testing for HIV is easy, quick and nothing to be feared.

"We have a real opportunity to end HIV transmissions in the UK, but it starts with each person knowing their HIV status. Too many people are either put off testing by the stigma that still surrounds HIV, or simply do not think HIV is an issue anymore."

"Today, Prince Harry has got people talking about HIV again and has normalised HIV testing to a global audience.

"In doing so, he could inspire a generation to take control of their sexual health."

"Thanks to treatment, testing for HIV could stop you from getting seriously ill, enable you to live a normal lifespan and prevent you from passing the virus on to anyone else."

"That’s why it’s so invaluable to have Prince Harry’s support as we aim to bust stigma and end the HIV epidemic."

The prince has vowed to continue the work Princess Diana started breaking down stigma towards people with HIV.

In the next few weeks he will meet with patients, medical staff and leading figures in the sector in the UK and will also travel to Durban, South Africa to speak at the 2016 International AIDS Conference later this month.

More from The Mirror

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon