T-shirts inspired by Russell T Davies’ Channel 4 drama It’s A Sin have raised £500,000 for HIV charity Terrence Higgins Trust.
Bearing the characters’ life-affirming catchphrase of “La”, they were created by artist Philip Normal and put on sale through his online Shopify store after the series began in January.
The half-million landmark figure equates to sales of around 30,000 T-shirts which now retail for £25, with £17 going to Terrence Higgins Trust.
The money is being used to fund the charity’s new Life Really Changed campaign which features Philip and 12 others living with HIV to challenge the stigma still surrounding the virus by celebrating their achievements since diagnosis.
It will also help the charity to provide counselling and develop training for workplaces to be HIV-inclusive.
Normal, who is also a Labour councillor, had to work day and night to fulfil orders for so many T-shirts through prolific online sales as well as from his shop in London’s Brixton Village.
He said: “This is just beyond my wildest dreams. I thought I’d only sell a couple of T-shirts.
“I’m so grateful to the cast and crew of It’s A Sin for creating this moment for us to talk about HIV in the UK and I want to thank everyone who has bought a T-shirt and helped us raise such a phenomenal amount of money for the Terrence Higgins Trust and their vital work to get us to no new HIV cases by 2030.”
Russell T Davies added: “I couldn’t be more proud of the fact that one of the many great legacies of this show has been to raise so much money for Terrence Higgins Trust.
“I would like to pay tribute to wonderful Philip Normal for making the most of the moment that It’s A Sin created and thank everyone who has bought a T-shirt to support efforts to tackle the stigma still surrounding HIV.”
Terrence Higgins Trust chief executive Ian Green said: “Congratulations to Philip Normal for hitting this amazing target. Everyone at Terrence Higgins Trust is so grateful to each and every person who has stepped up and bought a shirt to support our work.
“The money is helping to fund a new nationwide campaign to tackle HIV stigma because although much has changed since the days of It’s A Sin sadly the stigma around HIV is still all too present.”