It's a Sin hits 18.9m views and helps drive increase in HIV testing

HIV tests were ordered during National HIV Testing Week in February at faster rate than ever before, say THT


Words: Jamie Tabberer; picture: Channel 4

Channel 4 has announced that hit show It’s A Sin has reached 18.9 million viewers.

The critically-acclaimed drama created by Queer As Folk’s Russell T Davies is now All 4’s biggest ever instant box set and its most binged show to date.

The broadcaster also shared that each episode of the show drew an average audience of 2.3m viewers on Channel 4.

Its debut episode was the channel’s biggest drama launch in three years among young viewers, with an 18.4% share of 16-34 year old viewers.

The Olly Alexander-starring drama follows a group of gay men in London during the onslaught of the HIV and Aids crisis of the 1980s.

Its broadcast coincided with National HIV Testing Week (1-7 of February). Data from HIV and sexual health charity Terrence Higgins Trust shows HIV tests were ordered during this timeframe at a faster rate than ever before.

On the first day of the campaign, orders of HIV tests more than tripled compared to the charity’s previous biggest day of orders. Across the week over 17k orders of HIV tests were placed – more than double the number ordered during the previous National HIV Testing Week (8.2k).

"You can now live a long, healthy life with HIV"

Ian Katz, Chief Content Officer, Channel 4 commented: “It’s thrilling that It’s a Sin has touched so many people in in such a powerful way. It’s a wonderful example of how great television can emotionally engage millions of people and leave a real legacy of positive change – just what Channel 4 is there for.”

Ian Green, Chief Executive at Terrence Higgins Trust, said: “It’s A Sin has had an amazing impact and I’m thrilled the series has been so successful. The series examines a time in our history we must never forget – when people were dying of a mystery illness and we didn’t know why.

“But it’s also important that everyone knows how much HIV has changed since then thanks to massive improvements in preventing, testing for and treating HIV. You can now live a long, healthy life with HIV and effective treatment means you won’t pass on the virus to anyone else. We’ve seen the ‘It’s A Sin effect’ on National HIV Testing Week with tests being ordered at a faster rate than ever before off the back of the series. That’s a brilliant legacy for the series.”

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