The power behind It’s a Sin does not only lie in its groundbreaking portrayal of queer history but in how the show establishes a platform for new generations to engage in conversations around HIV, stigma, and discrimination.
On Friday, January 22, the highly anticipated It’s a Sin made a triumphant debut with an outpour of praise quickly flooding social media. From outstanding characters to a masterful blend of humour and heartbreak, Russell T Davies’ five-part series resonated across the LGBTQ+ community.
As highlighted by reactions on social media, viewers were left captivated by the story of queer friends searching for freedom in London at the beginning of the 1980’s AIDS crisis. On Twitter, one person wrote, “As much comedy as it is a tragedy, especially for men of my age who grew up in the ’80s and lost dear friends. The message I take away from this remarkable series is: It’s a celebration of life for those we have lost & for those who survived the AIDS crisis.”
Speaking about the impact of the series, a viewer expressed, “Finished It’s a Sin last night. Was in pieces. Stunning. Heartbreaking. Stayed up reading for so long afterward. I was pretty young when it all happened and so this has definitely educated me. So many untold stories.”
Another person shared, “TV should educate, empower, shock and open our eyes to the world around us and that’s what It’s a Sin has just beautifully and effortlessly done. It wasn’t sugarcoated or romanticized, it was raw, pure, and truthful. Everyone needs to watch this.”
It’s a Sin has not only provided a crucial reflection on the past but galvanised audience members to look ahead. While many shared their memories of living through the 1980s, they also advocated for further action regarding HIV awareness.
On Twitter, ACT UP Dublin shared, “Great to see increased focus on HIV and stigma and discrimination faced by people living with HIV. Remember – People Living with HIV, on effective treatment cannot pass on HIV! Tell everyone! U equals U. Undetectable equals Untransmittable.”
Great to see increased focus on HIV and stigma & discrimination faced by people living with HIV #ItsASin
Remember – People Living with HIV, on effective treatment CANNOT pass on HIV!
Tell everyone! #UequalsU
Undetectable equals Untransmittable https://t.co/xUVTg3cT6y
— ACT UP Dublin (@ActUpDublin) January 24, 2021
England’s leading HIV and sexual health charity the Terrence Higgins Trust further acknowledges the importance in continuing to advocate for awareness, “HIV has changed a huge amount since It’s a Sin — but too many people haven’t been paying attention. Including that we can now say with absolute confidence that someone living with HIV & on effective treatment Cant Pass It On. Tell everyone.”
HIV has changed a huge amount since #ItsASin — but too many people haven’t been paying attention.
Including that we can now say with absolute confidence that someone living with HIV & on effective treatment #CantPassItOn.
Tell everyone. https://t.co/sikHYsRTMz
— Terrence Higgins Trust (@THTorguk) January 24, 2021
While It’s a Sin has provided a groundbreaking look at the past, it also offers a solid foundation to build upon and that’s where the show’s real strength lies. So here are some ways people can help out:
Our offices may be closed but we are still here for you. Free and confidential support is available to anyone living with, or affected by, #HIV.
— HIV Ireland (@HIVIreland) January 11, 2021
In Ireland, there are numerous groups and organisations advocating for open and accurate sexual health education and HIV awareness as well as providing community-driven support services. These include ACT UP Dublin, HIV Ireland, MPower, Sexual Health Centre Cork, GOSHH, and so many more. People can help out these great causes in a myriad of ways, whether it be through volunteering or with a donation.
Find Out More
Building on It’s a Sin’s portrayal of the past, now will be the perfect time to research topics about HIV activism, sexual health, queer history, and living with HIV today. There are numerous resources available from films, documentaries, books, online archives, podcasts, informative guidelines such as those provided by Man2Man, and so much more.
— ACT UP Dublin (@ActUpDublin) January 25, 2021
Keep the message going and help out with online campaigns. Slogans such as U=U (Undetectable equals Untransmittable) have a powerful impact in fighting back against stigmatisation and discrimination. So a simple repost on social media goes a long way towards bolstering support and awareness.
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