Prince Harry's live HIV test

  • 15/07/2016
Prince Harry (Facebook)
Prince Harry (Facebook)

Prince Harry has used Facebook to help raise public awareness about HIV, undergoing a test for the disease live on the social media platform in an attempt to demonstrate how simple the process is.

The Prince co-founded the charity Sentebale with Prince Seeiso of Lesotho in 2004. The charity supports orphans and children affected by HIV/AIDS. Through the charity, Prince Harry hopes to reduce the stigma around getting tested for HIV.

Prince Harry speaks about the work of Sentebale

The pinprick test was performed at Guys and St Thomas' Hospital, just across the bridge from London's Houses of Parliament and the Palace of Westminster.

"It's better that everyone goes and gets tested," Harry said.

"Why wouldn't you? Whether you're a man, woman, gay, straight, black, white, whatever - even ginger - why wouldn't you come and have a test?"

After a one-minute wait, Harry's results were in. The 31-year-old tested negative for HIV.

The HIV virus is transmitted through unprotected sex, breastfeeding or direct blood contact with someone with the infection.

HIV and AIDs in New Zealand

The New Zealand AIDS Foundation (NZAF) recommends sexually active gay and bisexual men get an HIV test once a year, and more frequently if engaging in unprotected sex.

NZAF spokesperson Nick Laing says free finger-prick tests similar to the one demonstrated by Prince Harry are provided by the Foundation, as well as by community organisation Body Postitive.

The test results take 20 minutes to come through.

Mr Laing says testing with your GP is also a good option.

"Testing is an important part of our prevention strategy. If people can test and be diagnosed early, that means they can get further treatment, which can help prevent them from transmitting the virus any further."

A 2012 Auckland study found one in 15 gay and bisexual men have HIV. One in five gay men in Auckland with HIV don't know they are infected.

Tests can be booked for free through the NZAF.

Currently, New Zealanders living with HIV cannot access medications until their CD4 count drops below 500. Mr Laing says the NZAF would like to see the threshold removed so people can access treatment straight away.

The full video of Prince Harry's HIV test can be viewed on the Royal Family's Facebook page.