Prince Harry showed members of the public how easy it is to get tested for HIV by having a test done on Thursday morning. His experience was broadcast live on Facebook from Guys and St. Thomas' Hospital in central London.
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The Prince urged everyone to go into hospital and take a test, whether they think they're at risk or not.
He added with a joke: "So whether you're a man, woman, gay, straight, black, white, whatever – even ginger – why wouldn't you come and have a test?"
Prince Harry joked that "even gingers" should take a test
Harry, 31, admitted that he was "nervous" as he sat down with councillor Robert Palmer. He was then instructed to wash his hands before he had his finger pricked.
"Once you've got people through the door, that's the hardest bit out the way," said Harry, who was asked by Sir Elton John to highlight the stigma that HIV and AIDS still carries. The singer has donated millions to Harry's Sentebale charity that helps HIV-affected children in Lesotho, Africa.
"You can see for yourself the result while you're in the room," said Robert. "And we can respond to that straight away."
"It's amazing how quick it is, some blood tests you have to wait weeks for," said Harry.
The Prince laughed when he was offered a full sexual health check-up
The Prince then asked questions, reiterating that the test would only take a minute.
"And it's literally just me [in the room]?" said Harry.
"It would just be me and you," replied Robert.
"And here I can tell you, you have an HIV non-reactive result," he added, showing Harry his results. "I think what you've proved today is that it's important for everybody to come and do this."
His test and result was broadcast live on Facebook
The Queen's grandson rejected an offer of a plaster, laughing: "It's fine. I'll be alright. You've covered me in my own blood!"
During his visit Harry stopped by the clinic's lab and met some of the technicians. One doctor also jokingly asked if he had been well looked after by his colleagues and been offered a full sexual health check-up.
"I'm quite tempted," laughed Harry.
Ian Green, chief executive of sexual health charity Terrence Higgins Trust, praised Harry's decision as a "groundbreaking moment in the fight against HIV".
He said in a statement: "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."
In 1991, Princess Diana moved a mountain by addressing the stigma surrounding people living with HIV/AIDS. She showed the world we could safely wrap our arms around AIDS patients, by shaking hands with a patient without gloves. We've made huge strides since then in the treatment of the disease. People now live long, happy lives with HIV, when the virus is effectively managed with anti-retrovirals. Despite this amazing progress, most people today are still frightened and stigmatised at the notion of taking an HIV test. Today in London, Prince Harry gave that stigma a knock on the head by showing the world how easy and simple it is to take an HIV test. Bravo Prince Harry! Your mother would be so proud of you. @ejaf #LoveBravery
A video posted by Elton John (@eltonjohn) on
Elton John also shared a sweet statement on Instagram, praising Harry for supporting his and the late Princess Diana's cause.
"In 1991, Princess Diana moved a mountain by addressing the stigma surrounding people living with HIV/AIDS," he wrote. "She showed the world we could safely wrap our arms around AIDS patients, by shaking hands with a patient without gloves."
The singer added: "Today in London, Prince Harry gave that stigma a knock on the head by showing the world how easy and simple it is to take an HIV test. Bravo Prince Harry! Your mother would be so proud of you."