Prince Harry calls on HIV suffers to speak up
Prince Harry has called on HIV suffers to speak up about the virus.
The 32-year-old royal visited the Joyful Noise choir, a HIV singing group working with sexual health charity Naz Project London, in Fulham, west London yesterday (15.11.16), and urged members to talk about their illness to help remove the stigma attached to it.
He told them: “I don’t believe we can really smash the stigma unless people like yourselves are willing to talk.
“Not talking about something can actually kill you. People are happy to talk about their youngest child having cancer that might even kill them but the other child who has HIV, they don’t talk about that.
“Thirty years ago it was pretty much a death sentence but so many people have put blood, sweat and tears into essentially fixing the problem. For some reason though there is a large group of people who don’t know that things have come so far.
“We have got to do this and people have got to hear it from you. They don’t want to hear it from me.”
The flame-haired prince helped to raise awareness of HIV himself by taking a test in July which was broadcast live on Facebook.
Some members of the choir told him it was one of the “greatest things” he’s ever done, and he replied: “It was one of the easiest things I ever did.”
At the time, Juley Ayres, communications manager at Mildmay Mission Hospital in east London, said: “Many of our patients feel afraid to disclose the fact that they are living with HIV because of stigma, and this can cause enormous anxiety. Stigma and discrimination is cited as one of the main reasons why people are reluctant to get tested, disclose their HIV status and take antiretroviral drugs.
“As an organisation, we are deeply impressed and heartened to witness the work Prince Harry is doing to break down stigma, encourage testing and raise HIV awareness. We feel privileged to be able to support this work in any way we can.”