British royal Prince Harry underwent an HIV test live on social media in a bid to normalize the procedure.
Harry visited a sexual health clinic in central London, to have the check-up in a bid to encourage others to get tested. Followers of the Royal Family’s Facebook page watched live as a medical professional drew blood from the prince’s finger in order to test with chemicals to see if the HIV virus was present.
The HIV virus, which affects more than 100,000 people in the U.K. who are ‘HIV-positive’ is a precursor to those infected developing Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), a condition which prevents the human body’s immune system from neutralizing other infections.
The prince admitted to feeling “nervous” ahead of the test, he said: “Even being the person I am and knowing the type of people I’m around, I’m still nervous.”
The result, which came back negative, was indicated by a blue spot seen in the tray. If two spots had materialized he would have needed further tests to confirm whether he was HIV-positive.
After Harry had taken the test, officials at royal residence Kensington Palace said a statement: “Prince Harry believes until everyone feels relaxed about taking HIV tests – whether from high risk groups or not – then tackling the stigma and fear surrounding HIV testing will continue to allow the virus to win.”
In a video posted on the Kensington Palace Twitter account Robert Palmer, a health adviser and psychosexual counsellor, who carried out the procedure, added, “I think it’s really important for somebody like Prince Harry to be tested because it normalizes the testing process.”
The royal will continue his campaigning next week by attending the International AIDS Conference in Durban, South Africa.