star James Sutton has discussed the soap’s upcoming HIV storyline.
In the coming weeks and months, Ste Hay (Kieron Richardson) will be diagnosed with the virus, following a one-night stand with a stranger.
Sutton will be at the centre of the storyline as his character John Paul is marrying Ste in an hour-long festive special on Christmas Eve.
Speaking to the Liverpool Echo, he said: “It’s the first time a gay character has had HIV in a soap, so it’s a really important story to tell.
“It required an awful lot of research and preparation and we’ve got to get everything spot on. It’s an awful lot of hard work but it will be really great and another one of the storylines that Hollyoaks tells really well.
“It’s important that we challenge people and educate our audience as well.”
Richardson recently defended the upcoming storyline by saying that “we can’t get away from the fact” there has been a rise in HIV amongst gay men in recent years – read more here.
“We do need to talk about it so people go and get tested. I think there’s over 26,000 people living in the UK that don’t actually know they have got HIV so if this storyline makes people go and get tested, then it stops the virus spreading,” the actor said.