**Warning: This article contains discussions around HIV which some readers may find distressing**


Zack Hudson (James Farrar) broke down in tonight's emotional EastEnders episode (11th January) as he struggled to come to terms with the fact that he might have HIV.

The BBC soap recently confirmed that Zack would be at the centre of a huge new storyline, as his old acquaintance Brett (played by Fabrizio Santino) approached him. Earlier this week, Brett revealed he had been diagnosed as HIV Positive. He added that as they used to share needles while taking drugs, this meant there was a chance Zack that could also have the illness.

In the aftermath of this bombshell, Zack instructed Brett to leave him alone. He was adamant that he couldn't be unwell, and urged the man to look at him and ask him if he looked like he had HIV.

In powerful scenes, Santino's Brett turned the question back on him, pointing out that it wasn't that simple because these days, someone with the condition can get treatment to help them live a healthy life. And when Brett overheard Whitney Dean (Shona McGarty) telling a distracted Zack about their first baby scan, his concern heightened.

Fabrizio Santino as Brett in EastEnders.
Fabrizio Santino as Brett in EastEnders. BBC/Jack Barnes/Kieron McCarron

Brett urged Zack to think about his unborn child as well as Whitney, pleading with him to face up to things and get tested. But Zack was in no state to consider this, and he headed to work at Peggy's bar.

When Whitney arrived, she could see that Zack was troubled as he knocked back the drinks, but he refused to open up. In a moment of fear for their future, Zack suddenly told Whit that he couldn't be a dad after all. Whitney was stunned, asking him why he was behaving like this - but Zack said nothing.

As Whitney headed home to an empty house, she cradled her stomach, weeping as she told her baby that it was just the two of them now - just as she always suspected it would be.

Meanwhile, at work, Zack lost control as he rushed through to the backroom. Chelsea Fox (Zaraah Abrahams) knocked on the door to check on him, and Zack managed to send her away before breaking down completely. Throwing a glass, he accidentally cut his hand, and as he stared at the blood he began to sob.

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Will Zack confide in anyone - and can he find the courage to follow Brett's advice and get tested?

For help, support and guidance around any matters raised in this article, visit the Terrence Higgins Trust charity website.

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