I’m not a TV reviewer but, if I was, I’d give It’s A Sin five purple aubergines out of five. Because Russell T Davies is telling a story that’s long overdue being told – the emergence and devastation of the AIDS crisis in 1980s London – and doing so with all the power and sensitivity the topic demands.
But, among my glowing praise, I also have these words of caution: don’t let the ‘AIDS’ you see every Friday night at 9pm – getting worse and worse with each episode – be your view of HIV in the UK today. Because we’ve come a long way in the fight against HIV since then and worked too hard, with too much still to do, to be taking even one step backwards now.
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That’s why, ahead of the broadcast, we decided at Terrence Higgins Trust to do a whistle stop tour of just some of the medical progress in preventing, testing for and treating HIV.
There’s PrEP, the game-changing pill which stops you contracting HIV and is now available via sexual health clinics. It often feels like the world’s best kept secret.
And there’s the biggie – the one that always leads to a “no! Really? Is that actually true?”. Someone living with HIV and on effective treatment can’t pass on the virus to their sexual partners, with or without a condom. Yes, really.