Enhancing the health and social wellbeing of children and young people living with HIV

Life Growing Up

Life Growing Up was created from the real life experiences of young people who have grown up living with HIV. The short film explores critical issues of living with HIV including finding out about your HIV diagnosis maintaining medication adherence and clinic engagement, telling a friend or partner about your HIV, and the emotional and social impacts HIV can bring to young people's lives. The film aims to raise awareness and understanding of the experiences and needs of young people living with HIV.  



We are very proud that Life Growing Up was awarded winner in the Longform Under £5million Turnover Category at the Charity Film Awards in April 2020.

The Charity Film Awards celebrates the effective use of video by the third sector to change mindsets, raise awareness for the charity or fundraise.

400 charities entered the awards, More than 110,000 members of the public voted and 127 charities made the shortlist in the world's biggest cause-based film event. The Charity Film Awards panel of expert judges, which includes high profile names from entertainment, business, politics and media. Celebrity Ambassadors for Charity Film Awards include; Mariella Frostrup, Quentin Willson, Jason Bell and Chris Warburton. For more information, please visit   

The film is now also available in a BSL & subtitled version. Please see above. 

Thank you so much to everyone who made this film possible: the young people who shared their stories; the project writing, production and direction team Danny Scheinmann and Sarah Sutcliffe; Turtle Key Arts who co-facilitated the workshop development stage with CHIVA; film director Simon Baker who sadly passed away in 2019, film producer Tasmin Herbert; actors Alistair Nwachukwu, Jack James Ryan, and Maia Watkins; musicians Aga Serugo-Lugo and Simon Edwards; and ViiV Healthcare for funding the project.


A group of young people living with HIV from across the UK, participated in an arts engagement programme delivered by CHIVA during 2018, in partnership with the Lyric Hammersmith, and Turtle Key Arts. The group spent one weekend, and later, one week, working with creative professionals to explore their experiences of living with HIV.  They worked with musicians, spoken word artists and performance art facilitators, to express and examine their experiences, challenges and successes. Alongside this process, participants had in-depth one to one interviews with writers and storytellers Danny Scheinman and Sarah Sutcliffe, who then used these interviews to inform the script of Life Growing Up. The script was devised into a physical performance piece featuring three actors, and the performance piece was then developed into the film. 

CHIVA formally launched the film in the UK on Friday 30th November 2018 to mark World AIDS Day. This followed the successful premier of the live performance at the International AIDS Society Conference in Amsterdam in July 2018 which was very well received. 

Performances have also taken place at BHIVA and CHIVA conferences, as well as at the parliamentary launch of the report HIV & Mental Health: The Missing Link, in March 2020. Further plans are in place to take the work into schools, both the live performance and the film, where it can be presented alongside a workshop activity to explore the issues raised.