It’s A Sin star Olly Alexander is highlighting the importance of STI testing in light of National HIV Testing Week.
The Years and Years star, 30, plays Ritchie Tozer in Russell T. Davies new five part mini-series that follows a group of care-free teens living in London in the 1980s amid the Aids crisis.
It’s A Sin has been widely praised by viewers since airing on Channel 4, with viewers hailing its first episode as both ‘beautiful’ and ‘gut-wrenching’.
In a new video shared to Instagram, Olly compares what it was like to live with HIV/Aids back in the ’80s to what it is like now, given the advancement in science and technology.
Highlighting that there has been ‘amazing progress’, Olly encouraged his followers to get tested and ‘know our status’ – especially since now testing and treatment is much more readily available.
He explained: ‘There are a couple of similarities between me and Ritchie, but one really big difference is that he is living in London in the 1980s and more and more people around him are starting to get sick and die.
‘That was Aids then and I’d like to talk about HIV now. There has been amazing progress in the fight against this virus thanks to the early activists who fought for research, for funding, for humanity. People just like Jill, and Ash, and Elizabeth in our show.’
He continued: ‘This means today we have PrEP, a pill that you can take to stop you contracting HIV. We have effective medication that stops you getting sick if you are HIV-positive, and stops you from passing it on to any partners – and, unlike in 1985, it’s now super, super easy to order an HIV test, you can do it online, you can do it at home and get the results really quickly.’
Olly urged his fans to go out and get tested in light of National HIV Testing week and assured followers that there are plenty of charities that are there for support, regardless of the result.
He said: ‘So, let’s celebrate this amazing progress by taking a test and knowing our status.’
Olly was praised by fans for raising awareness of HIV in his educational post and many shared their love for It’s A Sin, after tuning in.
Previously speaking about the series, Olly credited the show for educating him as he admitted he used to be scared to talk about Aids when he was younger.
‘As a young gay man I was scared of AIDs because we were not allowed to talk about being gay at school,’ the actor explained.
‘The series has given me a lot of understanding of what that period was like, it’s legacy, and a lot of context as to who I am. It has been interesting.’
It’s A Sin also stars Omari Douglas, Callum Scott Howells, Keeley Hawes, Neil Patrick Harris and Stephen Fry.
The powerful series has already been a hit with viewers and broken records, after 6.5million viewers streamed It’s A Sin on All 4 since its release last month.
Channel 4 has since said the show is its ‘most-binged new series ever’, with It’s A Sin’s first episode becoming All 4’s most popular drama launch on record.
It depicts the effects of HIV/Aids on young men and the stigma and conceptions surrounding the disease in young men during the ’80s and has been universally praised for showing what life was really like for gay men back then.
It’s A Sin is available to stream on All 4.
Credit: Original article published here.