Alix Fox, a sex expert and script consultant on Sex Education, has opened up about a pivotal scene that raises awareness of HIV treatment in season 3, revealing the lines she suggested that didn’t make the final cut.
When the third season of Sex Education dropped on Netflix, fans of the soaring hit rushed to discover what characters including Otis (Asa Butterfied), Maeve (Emma Mackey) and Eric (Ncuti Gatwa) had been up to since we last saw them before their summer holidays.
Since its premiere in 2019, Sex Education has been a beacon of information on important topics regarding sex, relationships and self-discovery, educating audiences across the generations.
Alix, who’s worked on the show since the start, spoke to Metro.co.uk about the pride she felt working on the scene in season three where Anwar (Chaneil Kular), a member of the Untouchables clique, speaks to a nurse at a sexual health clinic about his fears regarding HIV and Aids as a gay teen.
She explained that as the scene lasted just 30 seconds, there was only so much that could be included in the conversation between Anwar and the nurse.
However, a ‘sad’ revelation Anwar makes to the medical professional inspired her to add some cultural references to the nurse’s dialogue, which didn’t end up in the final cut.
In the scene, when asked whether he uses a condom when he has sex, Anwar says: ‘Every film I’ve ever seen with a gay person ends with them having sex and dying of Aids. I don’t want to die. So, yeah, I always use a condom.’
Alix said that she ‘found it sad’ that Anwar’s only experience of watching gay characters on film showed them dying of Aids.
‘These days, thankfully there’s so much more queer cinema that celebrates and tells many more positive hopeful stories, happy stories about queer people,’ she said.
Alix referenced Love, Simon and Blue Is The Warmest Colour as possible suggestions, saying that she ‘gave a list’ as part of her notes on the script.
She added that while they couldn’t be included in the script in the end, she’s hopeful that the film references could make their way onto Sex Education in future.
The writer also pointed out that if the scene had included the references that she suggested, it may have become ‘too cluttered’.
‘Perhaps if we’d included an idea about a film in there it would have pulled focus from the really important stuff, which was that message about modern HIV treatments and protection. Overall I’m happy with the result, but it’s exciting to see what we might do in season four,’ she said.
The scene in season three of Sex Education received high praise for shedding light on HIV prevention and treatment, as the nurse calmly tells Anwar: ‘So long as you and your partner, or partners, are practising safer sex, getting tested regularly, you’re very unlikely to contract HIV.’
She explains how the medication PrEP works, stating: ‘There’s medication now called PrEP that protects people from contracting HIV if they are engaging in frequent casual sex in situations that might be putting them at high risk.
‘And for those that do contract the virus, there’s medicines now that enable them to live a long and healthy life, even get to the stage where the virus is undetectable, which means it can’t be passed on to somebody else.’
Alix recently hosted the Extra Gum Kissing Booth as part of the brand’s Kissing with Confidence campaign, highlighting the nerves that some may be feeling about kissing other people after a lack of dating during the pandemic.
A survey of 2,000 people found that one in five Brits aged under 30 hadn’t kissed someone romantically for a year and a half, with 57% admitting that they’d lost their confidence in kissing during lockdown and 84% saying they had developed a fear of flirting.
The kissing booth saw 40 singletons sign up to kiss complete strangers in a Covid-19 safe environment, with Alix stressing how ‘utterly brilliant’ the Extra team were at ensuring consent.
Alix, who was present on the day of the kissing booth, said that there was a mixture of ‘gloriously awful and awkward kisses’, as well as ‘some genuinely magical moments’.
‘I have been writing and speaking about sex and relationships for over a decade and a half. In my entire career, there has never been a point where collectively, we have all as a society been so deeply affected relationship-wise and in terms of our socialisation,’ she said.
In moments that sounded reminiscent of some of the blunt personalities on Sex Education, Alix said that some people ‘didn’t hold back from their criticism of the other person’s technique’ at the kissing booth.
She recalled the ‘spectrum of emotions’ felt on the day, outlining how with some of the pairings, their chat was ‘way more awkward than the smooches themselves’.
Sex Education is available to watch on Netflix.
Credit: Original article published here.