26
Jul

Prince Harry’s HIV test inspired a 400% increase in people checking their status

The royal took the test live in front of cameras to encourage more people to get themselves checked out – and it seems to be working

Prince Harry’s live HIV test led to a five-fold increase in requests for home testing kids, an HIV charity has revealed.

The Terrence Higgins Trust described the effect of the prince’s social media appeal as a “groundbreaking moment in the fight against HIV ”.

The charity was running a pilot scheme offering people the chance to find out their status by sending off for a 15-minute HIV self-testing kit when Harry sat down for his test on Thursday July 14.

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And on that day and the following day they experienced requests of around 150 BioSure tests per day in contrast to the 32 orders they took on July 12.

Dr Michael Brady, Medical Director for the 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.”

During the pilot, the charity received orders from across the UK, from Guernsey and Northern Ireland to the Isle of Man.

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In total, 4,750 free BioSure HIV self tests, which would normally cost £29.95, were shipped and the pilot has closed.

Half of all these people got in touch with the Terrence Higgins Trust to share their result and 26 people told the charity that they had received a positive result.

They got a personal call from the Terrence Higgins Trust to discuss their result, provide support and ensure that they know how to access HIV care.

Original news item available at Mirror.co.uk