For World Aids Day on December 1, Prince Harry and Rihanna came together to raise awareness about the disease by taking HIV tests together.
The royal and the singer were in Rihanna’s native Barbados already in celebration of the island’s 50th anniversary of independence. They both took tests during a visit of a HIV drop-in center that targets men in the country’s capital, Bridgetown on Thursday, encouraging others to get tested and end the stigma behind the disease and knowing your status. Both of them tested negative.
“If us getting tested normalizes it and makes a difference, even a small difference, then job well done,” Harry said. Rihanna added, “I was so excited to find out that [the test] was so easy, and the results come back that quickly—you can find out literally on the spot your status, and it’s very discreet.”
The prince, who is touring the Caribbean currently, said during a visit to a Barbados hospital this week that it’s absolutely vital for people to know their status. “I want to say to everyone who hadn’t been tested – get tested, regardless of who you are, your background, culture or religion,” he said to pediatric consultant and HIV expert Dr. Alok Kumar.
Harry has been a strong support of people be tested for the virus, and, even recently, took a HIV test during the summer in London, which came back negative as well.
It is absolutely necessary for people to know their HIV status, as well as any other sexually transmitted diseases. Though it can be a scary thought of acquiring the disease, with modern technology constantly advancing, HIV has become better manageable, and people are still able to live normal lives even with it (look at Magic Johnson!). Honestly, getting tested and waiting for the results makes me so incredibly anxious, and to do it publicly would be even worse for my nerves. But, as high profile celebs, Prince Harry and Rihanna taking this test publicly definitely reminds us regular folks that it’s important to stay on top of knowing what’s going on with your body, no matter who you are!