The annual World AIDS day has been celebrated since 1988 when it was held for the first time.
It is always celebrated on the 1st of December and is an opportunity for people all over the world to unite in a fight against HIV.
World AIDS day also gives people an opportunity to show their support for people living with HIV and to commemorate people who have died.
The numbers on the World AIDS day page shows that globally, there are an estimated 34 million people who have the virus and despite the virus only being identified in 1984, more than 35 million people have died of HIV or AIDS, making it one of the most destructive pandemics in history.
In keeping with the spirit of World AIDS day and creating awareness of the virus, Prince Harry and Rihanna took HIV tests together in Barbados.
The two of them has first appeared on stage together on Wednesday night at Barbados’s celebrations of the 50th anniversary of independence, later taking the finger-prick procedure during a visit to a HIV drop-in center targeting men in the capital, Bridgetown, on Thursday.
This is not the first time Prince Harry has undergone such public testing. He initially had a public HIV test during the summer in London and admitted to being nervous before the result came back negative.
He has been campaigning since for people to come forward and get tested for infection with the virus, which can now be managed with drugs. While visiting a Barbados hospital on Wednesday, Prince Harry met pediatric consultant and HIV expert Dr. Alok Kumar, and told him:
“I want to say to everyone who hadn’t been tested – get tested, regardless of who you are, your background, culture or religion.”
He spoke of the success of anti-retroviral medicine, saying that the success of the drugs was making more people complacent. in his words;
“Because of the success of these drugs, which is great, we are now suffering from complacency and risk going back 10 or 20 years.”
In Barbados where the two had their public testings, it is highlighted that men are at a significantly higher risk of contracting HIV. That same truth may not carry in Africa but the continent has, even, more work to do on the grounds of fighting HIV.