Sharing true life stories about living with HIV on reality tv? We love it.
Many years ago, we introduced you to RTE 2’s reality show First Dates. As you might expect from the title, the show captures the intimate moments of the first date between two people. Will sparks fly or die flat on the floor? While we originally introduced you to an episode where a gay rugby player went on his first date, First Dates now has a different scenario to share.
25-year-old Shane is HIV-positive and is unafraid to share it. Instead, he’d rather get that fact out on the first date and see where the situationship goes from there. And that’s exactly what he did in the recent reality show episode.
In the episode, Shane revealed his status to his date, 24-year-old Dylan, which Shane shares was revealed to him a year ago.
“I very much set the rule that it’s not a first date discussion,” Shane shared initially. “It’s always a little bit of a worry when you have to say it.”
That said, Dylan works as a scientist in HIV treatment, which led to Shane opening up about his diagnosis.
“I got the flu, or I thought it was the flu, I felt normal but I knew the recovery was not right. Two weeks later, I was tired, sleepy and I was thinking ‘this isn’t right’. I went to the doctor and had it sorted. I think I had it about two weeks so no long-term damage was done, thank god.”
He later added, “I’ve no issues with telling anyone about it really. I don’t know if I’m just very body sensitive but I only had it for about two or three weeks before I knew.”
— RTÉ2 (@RTE2) January 30, 2020
Thankfully, the show didn’t leave the conversation at just that. The two men elaborated more on medical treatment for HIV people throughout their date. The scene was both informational and heartwarming, which led to praise from several HIV health organizations.
““Great to see Shane being so open about his HIV diagnosis on #FirstDatesIRL tonight.” Wrote ACT UP Dublin. The organization then shared an image explaining the important “undetectable = untransmittable” message with supporting facts.
Great to see Shane being so open about his HIV diagnosis on #FirstDatesIRL tonight.
— ACT UP Dublin (@ActUpDublin) January 30, 2020
Looks like reality tv did something right for a change.