Irish HIV documentary How to Tell a Secret is coming to Netflix

Prior to its Netflix debut, How to Tell a Secret has screened in cinemas across Ireland and beyond.

Poster for How to Tell A Secret film shows to men sitting across from each other in red booth with Netflix printed above them.
Image: X @ASecretFilm

In honour of World AIDS Day, the moving Irish HIV documentary How to Tell a Secret is coming to Netflix on December 1, 2023.

Directed by IFTA award-winner Anna Rodgers and artist Shaun Dunne, the film uses genre-blurring storytelling techniques to expose the social stigma around what it is like to live with HIV today.

The hybrid documentary is based on Dunne’s theatre show Rapids. It elevates stories from people living with HIV in Ireland including young people, migrant women, drag artists and activists. Some participants were not able to show their faces on screen, but they found creative ways to have their voices heard.

Rodgers said the film covers, “…one of those topics that needs… conversation and storytelling behind it to create a shift in society. We really want to help dispel some of the stigma that surrounds HIV so people can live shame free.”


The cast includes well-known names across the Irish LGBTQ+ community, including Robbie Lawlor who was diagnosed with HIV when he was 21 and became one of the youngest people in Ireland to come out about his status on national television. It also features Robbies Poz Vibe podcast partner Enda McGrattan, better known by her drag name Veda, who opened up about their HIV status in a powerful song in 2019 after keeping it a secret for a decade.

How to Tell a Secret also gives a platform to people who had not spoken publicly about their HIV status before.

Lauren Larkin, Jade Jordan and Eva Jane Gaffney are among the amazing actors who show the hidden experiences of women living with HIV. Gaffney talked about the film’s impact on women saying, “My heterosexual female friends in particular have completely had their eyes opened through this film.”

Gaffney added, “They never would have thought this related to them. Now they see that his conversation needs to be everywhere, that testing needs to be everywhere and that we all have a role in taking down the stigma associated with living with HIV.”

With How to Tell a Secret added to Netflix’s catalogue, it means this important message will reach an even wider audience.


The documentary also contains an emotional tribute to Thom McGinty, better known as the Diceman, through a reenactment of his 1990s appearance on The Late Late Show.

Last year, the documentary was shown at several festivals including the Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival 2022 and the GAZE International LGBTQ+ Film Festival 2022 before being released in selected Irish cinemas.

If you haven’t seen it yet, now is the time! How to Tell a Secret will make it’s official Netflix debut on December 1, 2023.


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