Prince Harry has earned himself some pretty risqué headlines in the past, but today he’s putting a practical spin on a uniquely risky news story. Earlier this morning, The Royal Family took to Facebook to share a live broadcast straight from the doctor’s office featuring the Prince receiving an HIV test. The video, which was broadcast from Guys’ and St. Thomas’ Hospital in Central London, is part of an effort to destigmatize HIV testing and end HIV transmission in the UK.
While HIV research and treatment have improved tremendously over the last several years, too many people remain afraid of the unknown. That’s among the concerns Prince Harry sought to address by sharing this video. While sitting in the exam room, he asks the doctor what people fear most when it comes to the test, and the doctor replies, “The fear is not knowing, more than anything else.” He goes on to stress the importance of testing if you feel you’ve put yourself at risk, and later Prince Harry points out that if the results are in fact positive, the prognosis in 2016 is very promising.
It’s worth pointing out that the video reveals how minimally invasive and virtually painless the whole process is. Prince Harry actually says, “Weirdly that didn’t even hurt,” shortly after the doctor pricks his fingertip and collects a tiny blood sample. The doctor offers Prince Harry “a bit of cotton wool,” a.k.a. a cotton ball, and they go on to discuss the immediate results of the test which, unlike many blood tests, only takes a moment or two.
As the doctor examines whether Prince Harry’s sample reveals one or two dots, it is plainly evident how nervous the prince is. His gaze is fixed on the testing materials and you can feel his relief when the doctor says, “As you can see here, you have an HIV nonreactive result.”
While it is of course a great relief to know the Prince is healthy, it’s even more exciting that over a million people have watched the video, 35,000 have reacted to it, and 3,700 have shared it. So, huge shoutout to the Royal Family who managed to do some admirable stuff while the rest of the country is in disarray!