‘Outstanding’ EastEnders star James Farrar lauded amid Zack HIV story
EastEnders star James Farrar is continuing to receive praise from fans of the BBC One soap as his current storyline, which has seen Zack Hudson receive a positive HIV test, continues.
Meeting up with old friend Brett (Fabrizio Santino) was ultimately the catalyst for Zack’s ordeal to begin.
Brett – who is HIV-positive – encouraged him to get tested given that they shared steroid needles years ago.
At the start of this week, following a chat with Sharon (Letitia Dean) about taking responsibility for his actions, Zack headed to the clinic where he got tested, and received a positive result.
As Zack struggles to cope with the news, EastEnders fans have been full of positive comments for James Farrar, with some saying he’s ‘smashing’ the storyline already.
‘James Farrar was outstanding this week! Already knocking this storyline out the park!’, one fan said.
Another agreed and wrote: ‘Catching up on this week’s EastEnders and the way James Farrar is impressing me this early into the storyline’.
Even though the narrative has only been on our screens for a few weeks, it is already having a massive impact on the audience, with UK’s leading HIV and sexual health charity receiving a 75% increase in website traffic shortly the cliffhanger which saw Zack receive his results.
The Terrence Higgins Trust has been working with the BBC One soap on the storyline to ensure it’s as accurate as possible.
The charity has confirmed a huge increase in visitors to their website following Zack’s diagnosis.
The pages to receive the most views were how HIV is transmitted, stages of HIV infection, symptoms of HIV and post-exposure prophylaxis.
‘The spike in our charity’s website traffic shows that Zack’s diagnosis has already started conversations in living rooms across the UK, and these much-needed discussions around the reality of HIV today will continue as his story unfolds,’ said Ian Green, Chief Executive at the Terrence Higgins Trust.
‘During the height of the HIV epidemic in the 1990s, we worked with EastEnders on Mark Fowler’s storyline to ensure HIV was portrayed accurately on screen. Mark’s story was groundbreaking – it helped change a generation’s attitude about HIV at a time when hysteria was rife.
‘We’re delighted to be working with the BBC again on Zack’s storyline to show how much medical progress has been made since the Mark Fowler days, but also how stigma continues to be a huge burden on the lives of people living with HIV.
‘Stigma stops people from talking openly about what the virus means and acts as a barrier that prevents many from getting tested and knowing their status.
‘Today, if you test positive for HIV, effective treatment means you cannot pass on the virus to partners and can expect to live as long as someone who is HIV negative.’
You can find out answers to common questions, myths and misinformation about HIV and Zack’s story here.
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