Prince Harry’s live HIV test has encouraged more people to follow suit and request to know their HIV status.
According to Terrence Higgins Trust, which conducted the 15-minute test live on Facebook, orders for the self-testing kit piloted during the video rose five fold, with an increase from 32 to 150 requests per day.
The UK’s largest HIV and Sexual Health charity welcomed the figures, as campaigners hailed the prince for inspiring “groundbreaking moment in the fight against HIV.”
Dr Michael Brady, medical director at Terrence Higgins Trust, said, “We know that one in six people living with HIV do not know that they have it.
“Testing puts you in control and, thanks to treatment, will stop you from getting seriously ill, enable you to live a normal lifespan and prevent you from passing the virus on to anyone else.
“That’s why it’s so important that we continue looking for new ways to make HIV testing more accessible to those most at risk, and why it’s fantastic to see the very tangible and immediate impact of Prince Harry’s support for HIV testing.”
The pilot closed after sending 4,750 free BioSure HIV self-tests to people across the country. Each kit would normally cost £29.95.
The fifth in line to the throne has been encouraging people to go ahead and get tested to end stigma and shame that prevents HIV patients from speaking up and seeking support. As he took the live test, he said in a message: “It’s better that everyone goes and gets tested. 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?”
In 2014, Harry launched the Feel No Shame campaign on the World AIDS Day, which appealed to people to share their own secrets on social media. The campaign was supported by a host of celebrities including Nicole Scherzinger, Gemma Arterton, Paloma Faith and Ricky Hatton.