Prince Harry Continues Princess Diana's Legacy With a Powerful PSA

Watch the royal kick off National HIV Testing Week in the U.K.

By Zach Johnson Nov 19, 2018 12:45 PMTags
Prince HarryPHILIP COBURN/AFP/Getty Images

Prince Harry is making his late mother proud.

Continuing Princess Diana's advocacy work for AIDS and HIV awareness and testing, the 34-year-old royal starred in a PSA over the weekend to mark the start of National HIV Testing Week in the U.K. The video began with some good news, with the dad-to-be saying, "There's something to celebrate. New HIV diagnoses are declining in the U.K. Over the past two years alone, they have dropped by an incredible 28 percent nationally, and us getting tested has helped play a major role in this shift. But this is no time for complacency. Within the U.K. alone, one in eight people living with the virus don't know that they have it, and four out of 10 people with the virus are diagnosed far too late—once they should have already started treatment."

Harry added that he hopes to erase the "stigma" surrounding HIV testing, "which is stopping so many of us from getting a simple, quick and easy test." Until the process "is seen as completely normal and accessible for everyone," he argued it will be impossible to "bring an end" to the epidemic. "Just as much as you protect yourself at this time of year from illnesses and viruses like cold and flu, you can also protect your health by taking an HIV test," Harry said. "Taking and HIV test is something to be proud of—not something to be ashamed or embarrassed about."

"Two years ago, I took a test. The whole process was actually really easy," Harry added, recalling a World AIDS Day test he took with Rihanna. "The result came back within just a few minutes."

Realizing it may be a scary process, Harry offered some comfort. "You don't even have to go to a clinic to find out your status. During National HIV Testing Week, charities like Terrence Higgins Trust will be out and about in your local communities in places like churches, shopping centers and football matches—or you can test yourself in the privacy of your own home," he said. "And if you do get a positive result, you can get the treatment to live a healthy, happy life, and to ensure that you don't pass on the virus. It's simple. By getting tested, you are helping stop the HIV epidemic in its tracks. You are helping to save lives. This is such a pivotal time in the fight against HIV. If we can continue to make HIV testing the norm and empower young people to take control of their sexual health, we can be the generation to finally bring an end to HIV."

"By not getting tested, it could kill you," Harry added. "By getting tested, it could save your life."

Harry encouraged people to learn more by visiting It Starts With Me.