Fans of Netflix’s Sex Education were absolutely thrilled after show included an incredible lesson about HIV.
The British teen comedy-drama, created by Laurie Nunn for Netflix, follows the lives of students, staff and parents at Moordale Secondary School as they confront personal dilemmas. After three seasons, the show has cemented itself as one of the most brilliant, emotionally investing pieces of TV to grace the small screen.
In episode four of the latest season, the students at Moordale are subjected to an old-fashioned sex education class complete with horrific educational videos. The class causes Ruby, Olivia and Anwar to panic, imaging the worst-case scenario.
They are eventually encouraged by Miss Sands to go visit a sexual health clinic instead of just listening to propaganda.
It’s there that Anwar comes face-to-face with a nurse who gave him – and viewers – a fantastic lesson about HIV.
The nurse initially questioned Anwar about if he practised unprotected sex, and Anwar promptly replied that he always uses a condom during sex because he doesn’t “want to die”.
“Every film I’ve ever seen with a gay person ends with them having sex and dying of AIDS,” Anwar responded. “I don’t want to die. So, yeah, I always use a condom.”
The nurse coolly and calmly took the teen’s response in stride before giving him a masterclass about preventing HIV, the importance of regularly getting tested and the game-changing prevention drug PrEP.
“So long as you and your partner, or partners, are practising safer sex, getting tested regularly, you’re very unlikely to contract HIV,” the nurse explained.
She continued: “There’s medication now called PrEP that protects people from contracting HIV if they are engaging in frequent casual sex in situations that might be putting them at high risk.
“And for those that do contract the virus, there’s medicines now that enable them to live a long and healthy life, even get to the stage where the virus is undetectable, which means it can’t be passed on to somebody else.
“So, I don’t think you’re gonna be dying for a while yet.”
Fans loved the stellar lesson on Sex Education, saying the few seconds did more about explaining HIV than “most of our high schools did in five years”.
— jo brassington (@jjbrassington) September 19, 2021
That sexual health consultation scene about HIV/AIDS in Sex Education was so good I actually clapped at the television
— B r a d l e y ✨ (@_bradd_) September 22, 2021
Things I liked in Sex Education season 3:
1. The full HIV info session.
2. The two diff representations of non binary gender. Showing it doesn't always look the same.
3. Cal rejecting Jackson
4. Everything about Lily's plotline. Everything.
— Derniel O'Connor (@D3RNS) September 19, 2021
the prep & hiv talk in sex education !! 👏🏼👏🏼
— rj ✨ (@_rjh94) September 19, 2021
— Hugh Smithson-Wright (@HRWright) September 21, 2021
Sex Education is not the only series this year to discuss HIV and AIDS on the small screen.
Earlier this year, Russell T Davies’ It’s a Sin brought the 1980s HIV and AIDS crisis in the UK back to the forefront of public conversation.
In February, UK HIV and sexual health charity Terrence Higgins Trust said the show “led to more people than ever taking action and getting tested” after the charity confirmed it had seen more tests ordered than ever before.
Olly Alexander, who played Ritchie Tozer on It’s a Sin, struggled to hold back tears after he heard the news.
“I think it’s just amazing to see a real-time response to the show from the audience who is watching,” Alexander said. “I’m just really moved by it, honestly.”