Elton John is teaming up with Olly Alexander again – along with his It’s A Sin co-stars and the show’s creator – to launch a new campaign to end new cases of HIV by 2030. The announcement video, addressed to Rishi Sunak and Sajid Javid, implores Westminster to “play its part” in ending HIV.
This campaign comes a few days after The Elton John Foundation, Terrence Higgins Trust, and National AIDS Trust penned a joint open letter with 32 other HIV charities, community organisations, and health professional bodies asking to Sunak and Javid to make good on their promise of ending new HIV transmissions by 2030.
In the video, the “Rocketman” singer begins by saying, “Every week, 80 lives are changed forever because of HIV.” Russell T Davies, creator and writer of hit Channel 4 drama It’s A Sin, goes on to add that “despite huge medical advances” that mean people with HIV can live long and happy lives, “preventable cases are still happening.”
It’s A Sin star Olly Alexander, who plays lead character Ritchie Tozer, then says, “There are still at least 6,600 people who are living with HIV but are not diagnosed.” He is followed by fellow It’s A Sin cast member Callum Scott Howells and three individuals living with HIV, who lay out their action plan. This included expanding free HIV testing, nationwide support for those diagnosed with HIV, further investment in HIV preventative medicine such as PrEP, and tackling the stigma around HIV.
It’s A Sin, broadcast in January 2021, follows the lives of a group of friends living in London in the ’80s and how they were impacted by the HIV epidemic. The show itself reached record-breaking numbers and the Terrence Higgins Trust announced “since the show’s debut, we’ve seen an incredible increase in the number of orders for HIV testing kits.”
There are two ways to show your support for this campaign. For anyone living with HIV who is comfortable sharing their status, the Terrence Higgins Trust has created a letter template for you to share your personal experiences with your local MP in an effort to make them understand the challenges that remain for some people living with HIV and why they must act now. For everyone else, they have provided another email template outlining the finances needed to make this goal a reality.
If you or someone you know is living with HIV and needs support, advice, or information, call the Terrence Higgins Trust on 0808 802 1221 or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org