Prince Harry urged people to get tested (Matt Dunham - WPA Pool/Getty)

Prince Harry has spoken out about the importance of getting tested for HIV, to bring an end to the virus in a generation.

In a video for National HIV Testing Week, the Duke of Sussex urged people to protect themselves against the human immunodeficiency virus.

Prince Harry said: “Taking an HIV test is something to be proud of – not something to be ashamed or embarrassed about.

“As much as you protect yourself at this time of year from illnesses and viruses like cold and flu, you can also protect your health by taking an HIV test.”

The royal says the number of new HIV diagnoses in the UK is falling, declining by around 28 percent nationally in the past two years.

Prince Harry is outspoken about HIV stigma (Joe Giddins – WPA Pool/Getty)

Yet one in eight people are still aware they have HIV and four in ten are diagnosed far too late.

HIV stigma and testing

Prince Harry says the only way to address the epidemic is to encourage people to get tested.

“There is still too much stigma which is stopping so many of us from getting a simple, quick and easy test.

“We won’t bring an end to human immunodeficiency virus until testing is seen as completely normal and accessible for everyone.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle attend the Terrance Higgins Trust World AIDS Day fair in Nottingham in 2017 (Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

HIV testing ‘something to be proud of’

Prince Harry added that taking a HIV test is something “to be proud of” rather than “something to be ashamed or embarrassed about.”

“Two years ago I took a test and the whole process was actually really easy, the result came back within just a few minutes,” he says in the video.

“It’s simple, by getting tested you are helping to stop the HIV epidemic in its tracks. You are helping to save lives.”

He added: “If we can continue to make HIV testing the norm and empower young people to take control of their sexual health we can be the generation to finally bring an end to HIV.”

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