Life Growing Up is a short film created from the real life stories of young people who have grown up with HIV. It aims to increase awareness and understanding of the experiences and needs of young people living with HIV.

The film explores critical issues for young people including finding out they have HIV, engaging with healthcare, adhering to treatment, sharing their HIV information with friends or partners, and managing the emotional and social impacts of HIV.

You can watch the film below. The second video is a BSL & subtitled version.

We are very proud that Life Growing Up won the Longform Under £5million Turnover Category at the 2020 Charity Film Awards.

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

400 charities submitted films, more than 110,000 members of the public voted and 127 charities made the shortlist in the world’s biggest cause-based film event. Winners were selected by a panel of expert judges including high profile figures from entertainment, business, politics and media. Find out more at


A group of young people living with HIV from across the UK participated in an arts engagement programme in 2018. This was delivered by Chiva in partnership with the Lyric Hammersmith and Turtle Key Arts, who co-facilitated the workshop development stage. The young people worked with musicians, spoken word artists and performance art facilitators to express and examine their personal experiences, challenges and successes. The project writing, production and direction team, Danny Scheinman and Sarah Sutcliffe, also conducted in-depth interviews with participants. Danny and Sarah used this material to develop a script from which a physical performance piece was devised for three actors. The piece was then developed into the film directed by Simon Baker and produced by Tamsin Herbert. The film stars actors Alistair Nwachukwu, Jack James Ryan and Maia Watkins. Music was composed by Aga Serugo-Lugo and performed by Aga and Simon Edwards.

Chiva would like to thank all those who made this film possible: those named above, the young people who shared their stories, and ViiV Healthcare for funding the project. We would also like to pay tribute to Simon Baker who sadly passed away in 2019.

Performances and further plans

Chiva formally launched the film in the UK to coincide with World AIDS Day 2018. This followed the successful premiere of the live performance at the International AIDS Society Conference in Amsterdam in July 2018.

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 2020 and the education toolkit in 2022.

Chiva has been working to get both the live performance and the films shown in schools. Alongside workshop activities, these can be used to explore the issues raised. For further information about this please contact [email protected].