HIV charities Crusaid and Terrence Higgins Trust (THT) are to merge.

As of last March, Crusaid was £22,000 in debt and chief executive Jordan Hay said the recession had caused a “decrease” in income.

Crusaid offers funding to people living with HIV and suffering financial hardship. In 2008/9, it distributed £374,774 to 2,106 individuals. This was out of a total income of £1.6 million.

The charity spends just 39.9 per cent of its total spending on charitable activities, compared to THT which spends 89.7 per cent.

Mr Hay would not say his organisation had financial problems but said it had seen a 15 per cent drop in income in the last two years.

He told PinkNews.co.uk: “We haven’t been in financial trouble. But with the recession we have seen a decrease in income.

“The strategy put in place by the board didn’t do quite enough to counteract that.”

However, he could not confirm whether all of Crusaid’s 15 staff – including himself – would retain their jobs in the merger.

Mr Hay said: “I don’t know at the moment. THT has promised to save as many as possible. They are very fair like that.”

PinkNews.co.uk understands the Crusaid name will continue as an operating unit within THT and the merger aims to save the hardship fund.

Sir Nick Partridge, chief executive of THT, was not available to speak to PinkNews.co.uk this morning but Debbie Holmes, THT’s executive director of fundraising said she could not guarantee jobs would be safe at Crusaid.

She said: At this stage, we’re going to work across the two organisations to make sure the hardship fund stays in place.

“I can’t say either way [whether Crusaid jobs will be saved]. There may be redundancies in the next couple of months.

“Right now, it is business as usual for Crusaid.”

Ms Holmes added that THT itself was in a “robust” financial situation and had not had to make “swingeing” cuts in the last 12 months.

In a statement, Mr Partridge said: “I’m delighted to confirm that Crusaid and Terrence Higgins Trust have merged.

“The merger will preserve the Crusaid Hardship Fund in a very challenging economic climate and help ensure that people with HIV have the ongoing support that they so vitally need.

“We are also looking forward to combining our experience and research for a renewed anti-poverty strategy in support of people living with HIV in the UK.”

Crusaid was founded in 1986 and holds a yearly Walk for Life. Last month’s event is estimated to have raised £250,000, around £50,000 less than was raised in 2009 and almost £140,000 less than what was raised in 2008.