It's A Sin star Lydia West goes for a jog in black workout gear

It’s A Sin star Lydia West goes for a jog in black workout gear as it’s revealed a record number of people have been tested for HIV since show aired

  • Information about HIV, other sexually transmitted infections and how to maintain good sexual health can be found out at https://www.tht.org.uk/
  • Lydia plays LBGTQ ally Jill Baxter in Channel 4 drama It’s A Sin, which follows the reaction to the AIDS outbreak in the UK during the 1980s
  • The Terrence Higgins Trust told MailOnline on Friday: ‘There has been a surge in HIV test following the It’s A Sin effect 
  • ‘This is the biggest ever National HIV Testing Week (1-7 Feb) with tests being ordered at a faster rate than we’ve ever seen before
  • ‘On Monday we saw a x4 increase on a “usual day” or National HIV Testing Week to over 8,000
  • As a result, the Public Health England has released 10,000 additional HIV self-sampling tests due to demand to make sure tests continue to be available.’

She plays LBGTQ ally Jill Baxter in Channel 4 drama It’s A Sin, which follows the reaction to the AIDS outbreak in the UK during the 1980s. 

And actress Lydia West, 27, was pictured going for a run on her day off as she got in some exercise amid the coronavirus pandemic in London on Friday. 

She wore an all-black ensemble, consisting of a padded coat and leggings with trainers as she worked up a sweat.

Doing her thing: It’s A Sin star Lydia West went for a jog in black workout gear in London on Friday as it’s revealed a record number of people have been tested for HIV since the show aired


Going for it: She wore an all-black ensemble, consisting of a padded coat and leggings with trainers as she worked up a sweat

Her outing came as the show was revealed to be Channel 4’s most binged new series ever as 6.5 MILLION stream Russell T Davies’ acclaimed drama.

And moreover, a record number of people have been tested for HIV since the show aired during HIV test week. 

The series has already had 6.5 million views on All 4, making it the streaming services’ biggest ever instant box set, third biggest series to date and most binged new series ever. 

Wow! The series has already had 6.5 million views on All 4, making it the streaming services’ biggest ever instant box set, third biggest series to date and most binged new series ever


A story to be told: From multi-BAFTA Award-winning writer Russell T Davies, It’s A Sin follows the story of the 1980s, the story of AIDS, and charts the joy and heartbreak of a group of friends across a decade in which everything changed

Important role: Lydia plays LBGTQ ally Jill Baxter in Channel 4 drama It’s A Sin, which follows the reaction to the AIDS outbreak in the UK during the 1980s

Episode one meanwhile has become All 4’s most popular drama launch on record.

From multi-BAFTA Award-winning writer Russell T Davies, It’s A Sin follows the story of the 1980s, the story of AIDS, and charts the joy and heartbreak of a group of friends across a decade in which everything changed. 

Starring Years & Years frontman Olly Alexander alongside a cast of rising stars and celebrated favourites including Keeley Hawes, Stephen Fry and Neil Patrick Harris, It’s a Sin has been universally praised by fans.

Proud: Lydia also admitted she had ‘no idea’ the actor who plays her on-screen mother, Jill Nader, 58, was the woman her character was based on

Important role: Jill Nalder stars as the mother of Jill Baxter (played by Lydia, pictured) an aspiring actress who witnesses the impact of HIV and AIDS on the gay community in the ’80s

HIV TRANSMISSION AND PREVENTION

You can get or transmit HIV only through specific activities, most commonly through sexual behaviors and needle or syringe use.

The FDA has approved more than two dozen antiretroviral drugs to treat HIV infection. 

They’re often broken into six groups because they work in different ways. 

Doctors recommend taking a combination or ‘cocktail’ of at least two of them.

Called antiretroviral therapy, or ART, it can’t cure HIV, but the medications can extend lifespans and reduce the risk of transmission.

1) Nucleoside/Nucleotide Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors (NRTIs)

NRTIs force the virus to use faulty versions of building blocks so infected cells can’t make more HIV.

2) Non-nucleoside Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors (NNRTIs)

NNRTIs bind to a specific protein so the virus can’t make copies of itself.

3) Protease Inhibitors (PIs)

These drugs block a protein that infected cells need to put together new copies of the virus.

4) Fusion Inhibitors

These drugs help block HIV from getting inside healthy cells in the first place.

5) CCR5 Antagonist

This stops HIV before it gets inside a healthy cell, but in a different way than fusion inhibitors. It blocks a specific kind of ‘hook’ on the outside of certain cells so the virus can’t plug in.

6) Integrase Inhibitors

These stop HIV from making copies of itself by blocking a key protein that allows the virus to put its DNA into the healthy cell’s DNA. 

Davies, the writer and producer behind Queer As Folk, the 2005 revival of Doctor Who and Cucumber, loosely based It’s A Sin on his own experiences in the eighties. 

He also spent hours in conversation with his childhood friend Jill Nalder, an actor, ally and activist who lived in London during the decade and is played by Lydia in the drama. 

The real-life Jill also appears, playing Lydia’s mother in episodes four and five.

The Terence Higgins Trust tweeted news of the huge impact it has had on viewers. 

They  tweeted: The power of TV to change lives. 

‘#ItsASin is Channel 4’s most binged watched new series and honours the heroes of the past — stopping our history being forgotten. 

‘It’s also led to more people than ever taking action and getting tested during #HIVTestWeek. ‘What a legacy. LA!’ 

The Terrence Higgins Trust told MailOnline on Friday: ‘There has been a surge in HIV test following the It’s A Sin effect.

‘This is the biggest ever National HIV Testing Week (1-7 Feb) with tests being ordered at a faster rate than we’ve ever seen before.

‘On Monday we saw a x4 increase on a “usual day” or National HIV Testing Week to over 8,000.

As a result, the Public Health England has released 10,000 additional HIV self-sampling tests due to demand to make sure tests continue to be available.’

They continued: ‘We’re calling it the ‘It’s A Sin’ effect, with people re-engaged in important discussions around HIV.

‘Testing is crucial for seeing the end of new HIV cases by 2030 – which is the goal we’re working hard to achieve.’

Prior to 1996, HIV was a death sentence. 

Then, ART (anti-retroviral therapy) was made, suppressing the virus, and meaning a person can live as long a life as anyone else, despite having HIV.

Drugs were also invented to lower an HIV-negative person’s risk of contracting the virus by 99%. 

In recent years, research has shown that ART can suppress HIV to such an extent that it makes the virus untransmittable to sexual partners.

That has spurred a movement to downgrade the crime of infecting a person with HIV.

It leaves the victim on life-long, costly medication, but it does not mean certain death. 


Looking good: Lydia’s running ensemble had neon yellow details throughout 

Testing is on the rise! The Terrence Higgins Trust tweeted on Friday about how the show had an incredible legacy

WHY MODERN MEDS MEAN HIV IS NOT A DEATH SENTENCE

Prior to 1996, HIV was a death sentence. 

Then, ART (anti-retroviral therapy) was made, suppressing the virus, and meaning a person can live as long a life as anyone else, despite having HIV.

Drugs were also invented to lower an HIV-negative person’s risk of contracting the virus by 99%. 

In recent years, research has shown that ART can suppress HIV to such an extent that it makes the virus untransmittable to sexual partners.

That has spurred a movement to downgrade the crime of infecting a person with HIV: it leaves the victim on life-long, costly medication, but it does not mean certain death.  

Here is more about the new life-saving and preventative drugs: 

1. Drugs for HIV-positive people 

It suppresses their viral load so the virus is untransmittable

In 1996, anti-retroviral therapy (ART) was discovered. 

The drug, a triple combination, turned HIV from a fatal diagnosis to a manageable chronic condition.  

It suppresses the virus, preventing it from developing into AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome), which makes the body unable to withstand infections.

After six months of religiously taking the daily pill, it suppresses the virus to such an extent that it’s undetectable. 

And once a person’s viral load is undetectable, they cannot transmit HIV to anyone else, according to scores of studies including a decade-long study by the National Institutes of Health. 

Public health bodies around the world now acknowledge that U=U (undetectable equals untransmittable).

2. Drugs for HIV-negative people 

It is 99% effective at preventing HIV

PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) became available in 2012. 

This pill works like ‘the pill’ – it is taken daily and is 99 percent effective at preventing HIV infection (more effective than the contraceptive pill is at preventing pregnancy). 

It consists of two medicines (tenofovir dosproxil fumarate and emtricitabine). Those medicines can mount an immediate attack on any trace of HIV that enters the person’s bloodstream, before it is able to spread throughout the body.

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