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EastEnders character to be diagnosed with HIV

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EastEnders character to be diagnosed with HIV

EastEnders character to be diagnosed with HIV

EastEnders are working alongside Terrence Higgins Trust on a new story which will see Zack Hudson diagnosed with HIV.

James Farrar’s character, Zack, receives the diagnosis this month when Brett, a former acquaintance, presents himself in Walford revealing he has been diagnosed with HIV.

Brett urges Zack to get tested, noting that he may have it too.

EastEnders is working closely with Terence Higgins Trust to accurately reflect and raise awareness of HIV, from the aftermath of receiving a HIV diagnosis to the treatment options and implications for Zack reflecting what it is now like to live with the virus.

Ian Green, Chief Executive at Terrence Higgins Trust said:

“It’s been incredible to work with EastEnders on Zack’s story to show people across the UK that an HIV diagnosis doesn’t have to stop you from living life to the fullest.”

“During the height of the HIV epidemic in the 1990s, we worked with EastEnders on Mark Fowler’s story to ensure HIV was portrayed accurately on screen. Mark was the first mainstream British TV character to be diagnosed with HIV. His story was viewed by millions and helped change attitudes about the virus when fear and misinformation was rife.”

Zack is thrown when a former acquaintance Brett played by Fabrizio Santino arrives in Walford to deliver some news

Green said that he hopes EastEnders‘ updated portrayal will help to dispel any lingering myths and bring awareness to ‘the reality of HIV in 2023’.

“The incredible progress we’ve made around HIV means people on effective HIV treatment can’t pass on the virus and can have a normal lifespan. We hope that Zack’s storyline will educate viewers on the reality of HIV in 2023 and spark conversations in living rooms across the UK.”

Chris Clenshaw, Executive Producer added of the storyline:

“EastEnders has never shied away from covering sensitive issues and Zack’s story is one of these. There are still so many myths and disinformation surrounding HIV, so working closely with Terrence Higgins Trust has enabled us to really understand what it is like for those that are diagnosed with HIV and we hope that this storyline will bring more awareness of HIV and what it is like to live with the virus in 2023.”

EastEnders airs Monday-Thursday at 7.30pm on BBC One and iPlayer

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