Eastenders has confirmed that one of their upcoming storylines will see Zack Hudson diagnosed with HIV. Soap insiders have said the storyline will commence later this month.
Zack, played by James Farrar, will receive the news after an old acquaintance, Brett, turns up and reveals he has been diagnosed with HIV and urges Zack to get himself tested. Set to be the centre of the hard-hitting storyline, it will see the character begin to spiral as he tries to come to terms with his diagnosis and the ramifications it might hold for him.
To produce this storyline, Eastenders are working closely with the Terrence Higgins Trust. The trust, which was launched in 1982, is a British charity campaigning and providing services relating to HIV and sexual health.
Ian Green, Chief Executive at Terrence Higgins Trust, 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.”