Prince Harry and Rihanna were in the singer's home country of Barbados this week to celebrate the 50th anniversary of independence. On Thursday, which was World AIDS Day, the pair chose to set a positive example at the Barbados National HIV/AIDS Commission's "Man Aware" event by getting tested for HIV.
Their goal is to help end the stigma and show how easy it is to get tested — just take it from Rihanna. "Oh, that was not bad," she says when her finger is pricked in a video posted on Twitter by Kensington Palace. "You made it seem like it hurt," she jokes to the prince.
Both of their tests came back negative. "I was so excited to find out last night from [the prince] that it was so easy, and the results come back that quickly. You can find out literally on the spot," Rihanna said in an interview afterward. She added that home testing also offers a discreet option. "We just want to show people how easy it is to get tested and how you shouldn't be afraid of knowing your status."
The one thing we should be afraid of, said Harry, is not knowing and not talking about it. "If us getting tested normalizes it and makes a difference, just even a small difference, then job well done."
The prince also emphasized that even if the test results are positive, it's not the end of the road, and early detection can help. "If you catch it soon enough, you can take medication for the rest of your life and have a completely normal life — with your loved ones, with your family — and if you choose not to let anyone know, then no one needs to know."
This isn't the prince's first time setting this important example. Earlier this year, he received the test live on Facebook. According to the Telegraph, his gesture made a huge difference. The Terrence Higgins Trust reported that orders of the HIV self-testing kit increased five fold after the prince's live stream.
Now that Rihanna has joined him, hopefully even more people will follow their lead.
Cover image via Twitter