Emmerdale spoilers follow.
Emmerdale star Emile John has teased what's in store for his character Ethan Anderson, after finding out that Eddy, the man he slept with recently, has been diagnosed with HIV.
Earlier this week, Ethan received a surprise phone call from Eddy, having not expected to hear from him due to their mutual decision not to pursue anything beyond their one-night stand. During the chat, Eddy shared that he may be HIV positive, and that he'd taken a test.
Next week, the character is set to confirm his test results, which panics Ethan in regards to his own health – though it's widely documented that people with HIV can lead long, fulfilling lives with the right treatment and care.
"Eddy and Ethan's relationship post Eddy's revelation becomes quite transactional in a sense that most of their conversations become exchanges in information," John explained, hinting at tensions between the pair.
"It's very rare that they both deal with one another’s emotions towards this hugely impactful situation. After all, they're both still new to each other and navigating through such a consequential period with practically a stranger isn't going to be the easiest thing to do."
In scenes scheduled to air on Friday, September 3, Ethan's father Charles (Kevin Mathurin) notices his son's low mood and suggests that he opens up about what's on his mind. Ethan lies, however, and tells his dad that his newfound stress is work-related. Will he eventually feel able to tell his father the truth over his health concerns?
"The guilt and shame that goes with being associated with HIV because of the stigma is enough to silence Ethan," John noted. "Ethan is a Black gay man, this alone within parts of the Black community is still a taboo.
"Ethan may feel that the chances of him having HIV are too much for his father to tolerate. Charles is a second generation, traditionally raised Caribbean man, who's also an ordained reverend. In Ethan's mind, Charles is one of the last people he feels he can open up to about this, he feels he is bringing shame to his father. What Ethan is blind to, because of his fears and anxieties, is the unconditional love that Charles has for his son.
"Because of the advancement in modern medicine, anyone who is diagnosed [with] HIV can still live long, healthy and fruitful lives," John concluded. "In Ethan's case, I feel he'd definitely struggle living with HIV and the myths and misinformation that circulate concerning those who are positive. Ethan is someone who is conscious of how he is perceived by others."
Emmerdale airs these scenes on Thursday, September 2 at 6.45pm and Friday, September 3 at 7pm on ITV.
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