As if we needed another reason to have a major crush on Prince Harry, he just got tested for HIV on Facebook Live for a super good reason — to destigmatize getting tested.
In a society where getting tested for STIs is hugely stigmatized, it’s so, *so* important to help take down the stigma. By getting tested and allowing us to watch, Prince Harry just proved that getting tested for STIs— and even testing positive — is completely and totally normal.
People are so excited to see the prince helping to combat stigma.
Prince Harry gave his reasoning for getting tested, saying, “Whether you’re a man, woman, gay, straight, black, white, whatever, even ginger, why wouldn’t you come in and have a test?” he says. “To normalize the situation, surely it’s better that everyone goes and gets tested. Why wouldn’t you?”
And Prince Harry is totally right. There are these awful stereotypes surrounding people with STIs that are completely negative. These stereotypes have harmful consequences from making people avoid getting tested in the first place to making people who do test positive feel awful about themselves. But people who have STIs aren’t alone, aren’t bad people, and don’t deserve judgment. As of right now, 110 million U.S. citizens have an STD, according to Health.ny.gov. That’s a lot of people who do not deserve to be ostracized or treated differently.
It’s so fantastic to see an iconic figure like Prince Harry showing that there’s nothing wrong with getting tested and doing the important and *super* necessary work of taking down the stigma surrounding STIs.