Staff, volunteers and service users from HIV and sexual health charity Terrence Higgins Trust joined together in Taunton this week to mark the launch of the charity’s 30th anniversary by cutting a birthday cake.
The event, which took place on Tuesday 17 July, was a chance to unveil the charity’s brand new ‘Thanks Terry’ campaign, which is being launched this month in celebration of the positive legacy that Terrence Higgins, the first person in the UK publicly identified to have died with AIDS, has left for the country’s sexual health.
Terry Higgins died of an AIDS-related illness on 4 July 1982 at St Thomas’ Hospital, London. He was 37 years old. That same year, three of his closest friends founded the Terry Higgins Trust, using Terry’s name in the hope of humanising and personalising AIDS in a very public way. Since then, Terrence Higgins Trust has grown to become the UK’s largest HIV and sexual health charity with centres across the UK.
Terrence Higgins Trust’s Taunton centre opened in December 2011 and offers counselling and support for people living with HIV in the local community.
Martin Jevon, Centre Manager at the Taunton Centre, said: “Terry Higgins died aged just 37, but thanks to his legacy and the spirit and determination of his friends, the world is now a different place for people living with HIV. Thanks to Terry, many more people living with HIV now have access to the support and counselling services they need; thanks to Terry, we have chipped away at stigma and discrimination; thanks to Terry, people are better placed than ever to lead safe, healthy and happy sex lives.
“This is a really exciting time to be building up our new service here in Taunton. We can’t wait to continue the great work that Terry’s friends began all those years ago inspiring better sexual health and being on hand to support people living with HIV in the community.”
To learn more about services and support on offer at Terrence Higgins Trust’s Taunton Centre, please call: 01823 327 076.