THE DUKE OF SUSSEX WILL ATTEND A TERRENCE HIGGINS TRUST EVENT AHEAD OF NATIONAL HIV TESTING WEEK
Friday 8th November 2019
The Duke of Sussex will attend a Terrence Higgins Trust event with former Wales rugby captain Gareth Thomas ahead of National HIV Testing Week at the Twickenham Stoop, home of Premiership Rugby club Harlequins, on Friday 8th November.
National HIV Testing Week, which will run from 16th to 22nd November, aims to increase awareness and acceptance of HIV testing by dispelling the stigma that surrounds the virus. The week, which promotes the benefits of regular testing and treatment for both the individual and the community, also raises the awareness of how quick and easy it is to test for HIV – be it in clinical settings, in primary care, through community-based rapid testing or via postal testing. This helps to improve early diagnosis and treatment of HIV, thus reducing onward transmission.
Terrence Higgins Trust, the largest voluntary sector provider of HIV and sexual health services in the UK, works to empower and support people living with HIV to lead healthy lives, and to eradicate stigma and discrimination. The charity recently established an independent HIV Commission with National AIDS Trust to develop recommendations for an effective action plan to help reach the ambitious goal of ending new HIV transmissions in England by 2030.
The Commission is chaired by Dame Inga Beale and commissioners include Mercy Shibemba who is a young HIV campaigner born with the virus. The Duke has supported Terrence Higgins Trust for a number of years and has been involved in National HIV Testing Week for the past three years. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex attended a Terrence Higgins Trust event to mark World AIDS Day in December 2017, one of their first official visits following their engagement.
During his visit the Duke will meet with players from Harlequins’ men’s and women’s teams, as well as inclusive rugby club Kings Cross Steelers, who will share how much of an impact Gareth Thomas has had since speaking out about his HIV status. The Duke and a Harlequins player will be shown an HIV self-testing kit, which can give a result in just 15 minutes. Before departing, His Royal Highness will meet with representatives from the HIV Commission who will discuss their aims and objectives before joining a group photo with the Harlequins team and guests present on the day.