Olly Alexander and Nathaniel Hall in It's a Sin

It’s a Sin cast member Nathaniel Hall – Donald Bassett – reveals real life HIV diagnosis at 16

He's an actor, playwright and HIV activist from Manchester

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It’s a Sin star Nathaniel Hall, who plays Donald Bassett in the Channel 4 series, has spoken of his own real life HIV diagnosis.

The activist-turned-actor was told he had the human immunodeficiency virus when he was just 16.

Here’s everything you need to know.

Read more: It’s a Sin: Jill Baxter is played by actress Lydia West but what else has she been in? 

It’s a Sin Donald: Who is actor Nathaniel Hall?

Nathaniel is an actor, playwright and HIV activist from Manchester.

His solo show First Time won awards and received critical acclaim on tour and at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2019.

The show is about his life with HIV.

It will tour the UK in 2021.

He is a gay man living with HIV.

It’s a Sin Donald: Who is Ritchie’s boyfriend?

Nathaniel portrays Donald Bassett in episode three of It’s a Sin on Channel 4.

Donald is Ritchie Tozer’s first-ever boyfriend.

It’s a pivotal relationship for Ritchie, who is in denial about the dangers of HIV.

Ritchie and Donald have an intense affair – until Ritchie notices a brown mark on Donald’s back.

The mark is sadly a sign that the character has HIV.

The brown mole-like marks are a symptom of Kaposi’s sarcoma, a condition which occurs in the later stages of HIV.

Donald eventually leaves London after being cruelly dumped with no explanation.

Ritchie is left wondering if he might have caught HIV from Donald at the end of episode three (Friday February 5 2021).

Nathaniel Hall as Donald Bassett in It's a Sin
Nathaniel Hall as Donald Bassett in It’s a Sin (Credit: Channel 4)

Read more: It’s a Sin on C4: What was the terrifying AIDS advert in the 80s? Watch it here

Does Nathaniel Hall have HIV?

Nathaniel was diagnosed with HIV when he was just 16 years old.

He is now 34.

He talks openly about how he caught the virus the first time he ever had sex.

Two weeks before his 17th birthday, he was diagnosed as HIV-positive.

He told Radio One’s Life Hacks: “I didn’t tell anyone, I didn’t tell my family. I lived with all that shame and all that stigma weighing down very heavy on me.”

Nathaniel went on to say that, at 16, he thought he was an adult.

He explains: “I’m from a nice, safe, middle-class background. I was head boy at my school, I was a straight-A student.”

However, after getting into a relationship with an older man while he was still in education, he contracted HIV.

He says: “It was like a slap in the face. It was a wake-up call. All of a sudden I was like a child in an adult’s world.”

Nathaniel now takes just one tablet a day, and his HIV-negative partner takes antiretroviral medicine PrEP.

It’s a Sin Donald: What else has Nathaniel Hall been in?

Nathaniel’s role as Donald is his first ever appearance on TV.

Actor Callum Scott Howells, who plays Colin, is also a TV newbie.

Nathaniel Hall as Donald Bassett in It's a Sin
Nathaniel Hall and Olly Alexander share an intimate scene in It’s a Sin (Credit: Channel 4)

It’s a Sin episode three

Episode three of It’s a Sin is particularly harrowing, as more and more people around the group of friends are dying of HIV and AIDs.

And, when one of their own becomes ill, they must rally around like never before.

More than six million viewers have watched the Channel 4 drama on All 4, making it a big success.

The Terrence Higgins trust has revealed that, thanks to the show, more people are coming forward for HIV tests.

It’s a Sin episode three airs on Friday February 5 2021 at 9pm on Channel 4.

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