It’s A Sin star Nathaniel Hall has spoken about his experiences on Russell T Davies’s groundbreaking Channel 4 show, revealing he was initially worried it would reignite stigma surrounding HIV.
The actor and activist discussed the critically acclaimed drama about the HIV/Aids crisis, and how it reflected his own experiences.
Nathaniel stars as the boyfriend of Olly Alexander’s character Ritchie Tozer. It’s a particularly personal role for the actor, having contracted HIV aged 16 after having sex for the first time.
Speaking on Lorraine, Nathaniel revealed his initial fears about It’s A Sin, saying he was worried that it could lead to negative attitudes returning.
‘One of the things I was worried about with it with It’s A Sin was that it very much focuses on the gay version of the story. Over 50% of the people who live with HIV in the UK are heterosexual,’ he told host Lorraine Kelly.
‘It also [showed] the history of HIV. So you know, people not knowing how it was transmitted, cleaning themselves in the shower. I was worried that we might see some of those attitudes resurface. But actually, what’s happened is the complete opposite.’
Nathaniel added: ‘All of a sudden, everyone’s talking about HIV and all the amazing charities around the country. HIV activists have jumped on this moment, this national conversation and gone, “HIV has changed, here’s what you need to know, and here’s how we could end HIV for good to the UK.”
‘So it just shows you the phenomenal impact that like a TV drama can have on something like this.’
Earlier in his career Nathaniel got into activism to raise awareness and reduce stigma around HIV, and in 2019, he took his one-man show First Time to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. After the success of the production, he was asked to audition for It’s A Sin.
The actor urged people to get themselves tested and celebrated the impact the drama was having.
He said: ‘If you don’t get tested, HIV will lead to you getting very sick and it will kill you. And of course, if you don’t know you’ve got HIV, you might unwittingly pass it on to someone and no one wants to do that.
‘So getting tested is really, really important. And you know, last week was a National HIV testing week, and the show had such an amazing impact.’
Nathaniel wasn’t the only person involved in the drama to have concerns before it was released. It’s A Sin creator Russell recently revealed he was particularly worried about one aspect of Colin’s storyline.
It’s A Sin continues on Friday at 9pm Channel 4 and is available to stream on All 4.
Credit: Original article published here.