Prince Harry takes the prick
(we wonder if his blood was "royal blue" ?)
Showing how simple it can be, Prince Harry took an HIV test at Guys and St. Thomas' Hospital, London, Thursday morning – and broadcast the event live on Facebook.
Just like his mother, he is championing the cause of HIV/AIDS awareness. By broadcasting it live, it is hoped that it will show thousands of people in the UK and millions around the world, who have the virus but don't know it -- that it's as easy as sitting down and getting results just minutes later.
Harry took the test to help "de-stigmatize" the issue and to show how easy it is to be checked. All it takes is to get a pin prick and minutes later find out the result. Harry, by the way was Negative.
The Prince showed that he is just as human as everyone else by admitting to being "nervous." However, he was talked through it by Robert Palmer, a psycho-sexual counselor to ease his nerves.
Harry was heard saying :
"Even being the person I am and knowing the type of people I'm around, I'm still nervous. Which is interesting,"
As he waited for the results to come through – a single blue dot for negative, and two spots for a positive result – he asked Palmer,
"What's the biggest fear for people who come in?"
Palmer said it was the
"not knowing. It's our job to let people know about their help and make sure we keep people well and healthy."
When he was told his result was non-reactive, the prince quickly switched gears and said, for the sake of those watching "back home," that he appreciated it as a "life-changing moment."
Weirdly, that didn't even hurt.
It is amazing how quick it is. So whether you're a man, woman, gay, straight, black or white — even ginger — why wouldn't you come an have a test?"
The head of the Terrence Higgins Trust, a charity that campaigns on AIDS and HIV issues, called Harry's decision to have the test live on Facebook. Chief executive Ian Green said in a statement that it was :
"a groundbreaking moment in the fight against HIV. Not only does it show his royal highness' 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"
HIV rates in the U.K. continue to rise despite years of progress in treating the illness. One of the biggest factors has been that up to 17 percent of HIV positive patients are unaware of their status and so can unintentionally pass on the virus to partners.
Around the world there is an estimated 17 million people who are unaware that they have HIV.
Late diagnosis also means people not getting early treatment to enable them to lead healthy lives.