Loose Women presenter Janet Street-Porter has spoken about how watching Russell T Davies’ new show It’s A Sin reminded her of losing colleagues during the Aids crisis.
It’s A Sin, which stars Years and Years singer Olly Alexander as lead Ritchie Tozer, follows a group of young gay men in London in the 1980s as they learn about and are affected by HIV and Aids.
On Wednesday’s edition of Loose Women, Janet, Ruth Langsford, Brenda Edwards and Coleen Nolan discussed the importance and the impact of the groundbreaking series, which broke an All 4 streaming record after 6.5 million people tuned in to watch.
Janet, who was working in the television industry at the time of the Aids crisis, told her fellow panelists: ‘I was working with loads of gay men, and they were just not really discussing it.’
‘We did lag behind America in acknowledging how contagious this was and the terrible effect it was having on people,’ she said.
‘So for me it brought back lots of memories, the tragedy of seeing people I work with closely die.’
Janet explained how she saw Aids affect people in different ways, with the condition causing a colleague of hers to perceive her as an evil being.
‘One man I worked with, it affected his brain, he decided that I was the devil and he didn’t want to speak to me anymore,’ the broadcaster recollected.
‘Another friend’s partner went blind before he died. I think we’ve got to acknowledge it was one of the cruellest, cruellest diseases.’
This week marks National HIV Testing Week in the UK.
In a video recently shared on Instagram to mark the week, It’s A Sin star Olly emphasised the importance of getting tested while explaining how treatment for HIV has progressed since the 1980s.
‘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 said.
‘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.’
It’s A Sin returns on Friday at 9pm on Channel 4 and is available to watch on All 4.
Credit: Original article published here.