Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar became the first politician in the country to publically take an HIV test on World AIDS Day 2018. An image grabbed from a video clip on PM Varadkar’s Twitter account shows him receiving a Rapid HIV Test at a Dublin clinic on December 1. The video shows the PM saying, “I am in a GP surgery here in Dublin for World AIDS Day and I am taking a Rapid HIV Test as part of a campaign to raise awareness and to encourage people to know their status.” The theme this year for the day is ‘Know your status.’
In the video, PM Varadkar also instructs viewers how they can get a Rapid HIV test done, which can give you results within a minute. A few drops of blood from a single finger prick is all you need. While his tests results were in the negative, Varadkar spoke to the camera, saying how painless the test was. Charlie Sheen, Freddie Mercury and Other Celebrities Who Had HIV/ AIDS.
Through the video, he encouraged more people to come out and get themselves tested for the disease. Every year, around 500 people in Ireland are tested positive for HIV. But many who don’t know their status, pass on the virus to others. Most people are afraid of the stigma associated with HIV testing that prevents them from getting themselves checked in the first place.
Although he has scripted history in Ireland, he’s not the first world leader to do so. Former US President Barrack Obama took a public HIV test in 2006 when he was just a senator. Prince Harry of the British royal family had taken the test to encourage more people to come forward.