Queer artist Philip Normal’s 'La' t-shirts, inspired by Russell T Davies’ hit Channel 4 drama It's A Sin set during the darkest days of the AIDS epidemic, have now raised an incredible £500,000 to support our life-changing work.
Philip Normal and our Chief Executive Ian Green – who are both living with HIV – were joined at Tower Bridge in London by some of the 30,000 who bought the iconic shirt.
The T-shirts have been a huge hit with celebrities including Amanda Holden, Dermot O'Leary, comedian Tom Allen and veteran LGBT campaigner Sir Ian McKellen, along with patrons of our charity Beverley Knight and Lord Michael Cashman.
The much-loved residents of the Pink Palace in the series say 'la!' to show their love for one another. Nathaniel Curtis – who plays Ash in It's A Sin – also shared a photo of himself in his 'La' T-shirt.
The money is being used to fund our 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.
The artist and Labour councillor had to work day and night to fulfil orders of so many T-shirts through prolific online sales as well as from his shop in London’s Brixton Village.
'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,' said Russell T Davies, who wrote and created It’s A Sin.
'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.'
Philip has been overwhelmed by the response which means £500,000 has now been raised with people wearing the T-shirts up and down the country.
'This is just beyond my wildest dreams – I thought I’d only sell a couple of T-shirts!' said Philip. '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.'
Our Chief Executive Ian Green led the congratulations as this amount of money will make a real impact on the lives of those affected by HIV.
'Congratulations to Philip Normal for hitting this amazing target,' said Ian. '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.'
You can still buy your own 'La' T-shirt and support our work via Philip’s online shop.