November 15, 2017 / 5:25 PM / a month ago

Prince Harry hands out HIV kits in London to promote testing

LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Britain’s Prince Harry handed out HIV self-testing kits at a pop-up shop in London on Wednesday as part of his ongoing campaign to promote testing for the AIDS-causing virus.

Harry, 33, has become a prominent HIV and AIDS campaigner through his charity Sentebale that was set up in 2006 to help children in Africa where AIDS is the leading cause of death among adolescents aged 10 to 19.

Harry, who is fifth in line to the British throne, launched the #FeelNoShame campaign in 2014 with singers Nicole Scherzinger and Paloma Faith and was filmed with Barbadian pop star Rihanna being tested for HIV in 2016.

“‘So the instructions are idiot proof for people like myself?’ asks Prince Harry, as he finds out about HIV self test kits,” tweeted the HIV charity Terrence Higgins Trust which set up the pop-up shop in Hackney in east London.

During the visit Harry launched National HIV Testing Week which starts Saturday, having previously criticized the “absurd” lack education for young people on HIV.

An estimated 14 percent of more than 100,000 people living with HIV in Britain have not been diagnosed and are unaware they have the virus, according to government figures.

This summer a gay sauna in the southern seaside city of Brighton installed a first-of-its-kind machine distributing free fingerprick self-testing kits that can be collected anonymously and used at home, providing results within minutes.

Reporting by Heba Kanso @hebakanso, Editing by Belinda Goldsmith; Please credit Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women’s rights, trafficking, property rights, and climate change. Visit www.trust.org

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