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Zack to be diagnosed with HIV in new EastEnders storyline

EastEnders have worked alongside Terrence Higgins Trust to tackle this HIV storyline.

Zack Hudson, played by James Farrar, will receive the diagnosis this month after a former acquaintance, Brett, turns up in Walford and reveals that he has been diagnosed with HIV and urges Zack to get tested.

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.

Speaking about working with EastEnders on the storyline, Chief Executive at Terrence Higgins Trust, Ian Green 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."

"Over 30 years on from Mark’s storyline and sadly myths about HIV are still held by far too many people. 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."

To which EastEnders' Executive Producer, Chris Clenshaw, added "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 continues Mondays to Thursdays at 7.30pm on BBC One


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