Prince Harry gets tested for HIV live on Facebook
The Prince attended the Burrell Street Sexual Health Centre in Southwark, London, and the entire appointment was broadcast live on the Royal Family’s Facebook page.
“So what we’re going to do is an HIV test, an instant test. It only takes about a minute,” specialist psychotherapist Robert Palmer explains to Harry. “We call it either a reactive or non-reactive result,” he continues. “If it was reactive, it would be sent to the lab to confirm the result.”
“I’m not from this part of London. Even being the person I am and knowing the type of people I’m around, I’m still nervous. Which is interesting,” the 31-year-old admits to Palmer.
The redheaded royal goes on to say, “So whether you’re a man, woman, gay, straight, black or white — even ginger — why wouldn’t you come and have a test?”
Prince Harry’s HIV test came back negative in under four minutes.
“It’s amazing how quick it is,” Harry said, sounding relieved. “Some blood tests you have to wait.”
The developer of the 60-second INSTI HIV test used by Palmer during Prince Harry’s testing is a privately owned Canadian company called bioLytical Laboratories Inc., which is based in Richmond, BC. The company focuses on rapid infectious disease tests.
The specific test taken during the live stream is called HIV-1/HIV-2 Rapid Antibody test and is the world’s fastest HIV test.
Prince Harry’s visit to the hospital was announced 10 minutes before he started streaming live, and the five-minute video has been viewed over 400,000 times (as of this writing).
According to the live-stream post, the Prince of Wales, whose mother Princess Diana reached out to people with HIV in the 1980s, shared the testing experience to show “how easy it is to get tested for HIV.”
The Chief Executive of Terrence Higgins Trust, an organization that focuses on HIV and AIDS issues, calls Prince Harry’s decision to take the test 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,” chief executive Ian Green said in a statement.
The fifth-in-line to the throne is planning to attend the 21st International AIDS conference next week in Durban, South Africa.
While visiting South Africa, Prince Harry will meet with a number of leaders in the battle against HIV/AIDS and emphasize his belief that “his generation needs to take leadership in fighting against HIV, or risk losing the gains of those who’ve come before.”
There were approximately 36.7 million people living with HIV at the end of 2015, according to the World Health Organization.
For more information on HIV and AIDS, visit the Canadian AIDS Society.
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