Queer viewers of Netflix’s teen comedy-drama Sex Education have applauded the show for featuring an important HIV lesson.
Sex Education‘s third season arrived on the streaming service this week. The series follows a group of students at a British high school, including Otis, the son of a sex therapist.
In episode four of the latest season, the students receive a hilariously outdated sex education lesson at their school.
A video that preaches “abstinence and homophobia” leaves Otis outraged and his fellow students terrified.
But another teacher urges the teenagers to visit a sexual health clinic for guidance instead.
Gay character Anwar meets a nurse who gives him – and viewers – a concise crash course in HIV prevention.
The nurse initially questioned Anwar about if he has unprotected sex.
He replies 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,” he tells her.
“I don’t want to die. So, yeah, I always use a condom.”
The nurse then gives the teenager a short masterclass about HIV prevention, including regular testing and the 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,” she explains.
“And there’s a medication now called PrEP. [It] protects people from contracting HIV if they’re engaging in frequent casual sex in situations that might be putting them at high risk.
“For those that do contract the virus, there’s medicines now that enable them to live a long and healthy life.
“And 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.”
HIV scene ‘so good I clapped at the television’
The short but important scene struck a chord with queer Sex Education viewers.
“A 30 second clip of Sex Education doing more than most of our high schools in five years,” one tweeted.
“That sexual health consultation scene about HIV/AIDS in Sex Education was so good I actually clapped at the television,” another wrote.
— jo brassington (@jjbrassington) September 19, 2021
— Hugh Smithson-Wright (@HRWright) September 21, 2021
Just last year, Netflix was slammed for including a “lazy and irresponsible” HIV/AIDS storyline in teen drama series 13 Reasons Why.
Earlier this year, Russell T Davies’ acclaimed series It’s a Sin followed a group of gay British friends during the 1980s AIDS crisis.
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