Hollyoaks will begin Ste Hay’s HIV storyline as he attends a sexual health clinic.
The long-running story will begin next week when Ste gets a call from Connor, a stranger he previously had a one-night stand with.
When Ste eventually returns home, he is forced to tell John Paul that he might have HIV, after Connor informed him that he had recently been diagnosed. With Ste in denial, it is left to John Paul to take action and he immediately makes an appointment for them to get tested. Although John Paul initially goes to the clinic alone as Ste attends Peri’s concert instead, John Paul is relieved when Ste eventually turns up.
The couple make awkward small talk as they wait for their appointment but as emotions run high, John Paul soon snaps, saying that after everything he has been through, he may now have HIV because of Ste.
When John Paul and Ste are called in to see separate nurses, John Paul is relieved when he gets a negative result. However, it is a very different story for Ste, who is floored when his test comes back reactive.
As the truth about his diagnosis suddenly hits Ste, he breaks down at The Hutch in front of Sinead who is full of concern. Later, John Paul promises to be there for him, but when he flinches as he goes to kiss Ste, it is clear that the couple are facing a very uncertain future.
Hollyoaks airs these scenes on Wednesday, January 21 at 6.30pm on Channel 4.
John Paul & Ste’s first Kiss:
Hollyoaks‘ executive producer Bryan Kirkwood commented: “We have wanted to tell this story for a long time and while HIV can affect anyone, infection rates in young gay men remain too high and to ignore that is to do the gay audience a disservice.
“Hollyoaks is in a unique position to be able to talk directly to millions of young viewers and if the safe-sex message is not coming through education, we can help with that both on screen and through multi-platform support.
2015 is Hollyoaks‘ 20th year and to make that our ‘year of safe sex’ felt right for a show built upon telling rites of passage stories. With Ste’s HIV and other stories for our teenage characters, we will explore the many implications of unprotected sex and hope to encourage thoughtful debate amongst our audience.
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