Prince Harry shared on Instagram an emotional video marking National HIV Testing Week, where he appears with former Wales rugby captain Gareth Thomas, who opened up about his HIV journey as the first UK sportsman to go public about living with the virus. In the clip, which was filmed in the stands of Harlequins rugby club, the Duke of Sussex expressed his wish of helping put an end to the stigma surrounding the virus.
During their meeting, Gareth revealed he thought he had got a death sentence when he was diagnosed with the virus, but being HIV positive is what eventually inspired him to educate people about it. "I was fearful of being tested positive. But I was fearful because I didn't understand what being tested positive means. When I learnt about what being tested positive means and when I learnt that undetectable is untransferable and the quicker I get on medication, the quicker I'm no longer a risk, the quicker I can get my life back on track. And that means now I live an amazing life. I take one pill a day which keeps me healthy, means I have absolutely no fear of passing on HIV to my husband," he said.
Prince Harry wants to raise awareness for the importance of getting tested
The Duke of Sussex talked about how important it is for people to get tested early, even if they don't feel at risk, "It is crazy how it’s a virus like many other viruses, but if you get tested early you can get on medication and live a healthy happy life," he said. Prince Harry also praised Gareth Thomas for encouraging people to normalize HIV and making it easier for those who are fearful about it, "I believe in what you’re doing, it’s amazing,” Harry said.
According to statistics from Public Health England, around one in 14 people with HIV in the United Kingdom remain undiagnosed, while 43% of people diagnosed in 2018 were tested late, which means their immune systems were already damaged.