Prince Harry took the INSTI HIV-1/HIV-2 Antibody Test at Guy and St. Thomas’ Hospital in London live on The Royal Family’s Facebook page to help raise awareness of HIV and AIDS amongst the younger generation. People all over the world watched Harry get his finger pricked by Lead Advisor and Specialist Psychotherapist Robert Palmer at the Burrell Street Sexual Health Center in South London.
“It’s amazing how quick it is,” said Harry about the test; his results were negative. INSTI is the world’s fastest HIV test providing instant results compared to other rapid point-of-care tests where individuals have to wait 15 to 20 minutes (after the test is conducted) for a result to be produced or several weeks in the case of laboratory tests. With just one drop of blood, INSTI is simple to conduct and yields greater than 99% accuracy.
“Once you get people through the door, that’s the hardest bit out of the way,” Harry said to Palmer, who administered the INSTI test. Getting tested for HIV is the first step in taking control of one’s health and preventing transmission to others, and it is a step that can be the hardest to take. “Accessibility, inconvenience, anxiety, lack of awareness, stigma and discrimination are some of the reasons why a person may hesitate to take an HIV test,” said Rick Galli, Chief Technical Officer of bioLytical Laboratories, “and this is exactly why we commend Prince Harry’s efforts towards the cause.”
A statement from Kensington Palace released after the event said, “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.”
“It’s better that everyone goes and gets tested. Why wouldn’t you?”, said Prince Harry “Whether you’re a man, woman, gay, straight, black, white, whatever, even ginger, why wouldn’t you come and have a test?”.
Kensington Palace stated that one of the reasons HIV rates in the UK continue to rise is that up to 17% of HIV-positive patients are unaware of their status and therefore could unintentionally pass on the virus to partners. The point-of-care INSTI HIV-1/HIV-2 test is a market leader in both the UK and France. Additionally, starting in the fourth quarter this year, the INSTI HIV Self Test will be available online and in retail locations to the many consumers who wish to test themselves in the privacy of their own home without the anxiety of waiting to learn their status.
Prince Harry co-founded Sentebale, a charity to assist the most vulnerable children in Lesotho affected by extreme poverty and HIV/AIDS. Prince Harry will take his campaign and Sentebale’s mission to Durban, South Africa this week when he speaks at the 2016 International AIDS Society conference and shares a stage with his late mother’s friend, anti-AIDS activist and rock star Sir Elton John. The conference runs from July 18 through July 22 where Mr. Rick Galli and others from bioLytical will participate in roundtable discussions, workshops and conference sessions to further expand HIV testing to help end the epidemic.