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Prince Harry Shares Emotional Video Marking HIV Testing Week

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November 18, 2019 - 13:28 / Laura Pérez

Prince Harry met former Wales rugby captain Gareth Thomas, who opened up about his HIV journey in order to mark HIV Testing Week. The Duke of Sussex talked with him about the importance of getting tested and expressed his wish of putting an end to the stigma that surrounds the virus.

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. 

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Today marks the start of National HIV Testing Week, so let's "Give HIV the finger!" By getting a quick finger prick test you can help eradicate the stigma surrounding the virus and normalise getting tested. Last week, The Duke of Sussex joined forces with @gareththomasofficial and The Terrence Higgins Trust to raise awareness for the importance of getting tested, even if you don't feel at risk. The Duke's dedication to this space is an extension of his mother's legacy, and something he is proud to advocate. An estimated 1 in 14 people in the UK living with HIV are still undiagnosed. Please get tested for you and those around you - let's all help smash the stigma and normalise it for others. To find out more about how to get tested or National #HIVTestWeek, please visit @ThtOrgUK. Video ©️ THT

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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.