Search icon

Entertainment

17th Dec 2016

First Dates contestant says they tried to force him to reveal he has HIV

Megan Roantree

”Channel 4’s legal team deemed me too much of a risk to my date.”

A man claims he was put under pressure to reveal his HIV-positive status by Channel 4 before going on First Dates.

Alex Causton-Ronaldson said that, once he had been matched with a date and all had been arranged for him to be on the show, a therapist called him for a ‘confidential chat’

During the phone call Alex was asked if he was on medication and her told her that he was taking Raltegravir and Truvada – antiretrovirals.

The virus was at ‘undetectable’ levels which means that even if he had had unprotected sex with his date, it would have been impossible for him to pass on HIV.

However, a few days after his medical chat, a member of the production team told him that their legal team insisted that he disclose his status to the man they had matched him with before the date took place.

”Suddenly all my fears about being HIV-positive and being rejected that I hadn’t experienced became realised,” Alex told Buzzfeed.

“And this wasn’t by a person, this was by a national broadcaster. The thing that kept shocking me was [thinking], This is Channel 4, they tout themselves as the progressive channel, as the pioneering channel. But now Channel 4’s legal team had deemed me too much of a risk to my date.”

HIV is covered by the Equality Act 2010, meaning that it is discriminatory to force someone to disclose their HIV status against their will.

When the production team refused to back down Alex told them he would not go on the show.

Once they heard this, Alex said their tone changed and, after speaking to their legal team, they agreed that he could go on the show without revealing his status.

He appeared in an episode that aired in April this year, but he and his date didn’t hit it off.

A spokesperson for Channel 4 responded to the claims saying: ‘The welfare and privacy of all our contributors is of paramount importance. Anyone who has disclosed their HIV status on the programme has done so through personal choice and not at the request of the production team.’

Lead image via Twitter/Channel4

 

Topics:

First Dates