A national Hardship Fund for people with HIV on low incomes is to be re-opened.

The Hardship Fund was operated by Crusaid until the charity merged with Terrence Higgins Trust in March.

THT said it would work to keep the Hardship Fund, which provides low-income HIV sufferers with money for essentials such as utilities, food and clothing.

The fund will be relaunched in spring 2011. An interim fund is available now and will offer grants of up to £100 to those suffering poverty.

Sir Nick Partridge, chief executive of THT, said: “In the current economic climate, it is vital that people living with HIV receive the support that they need. Research tells us nearly one in three people with HIV have ongoing problems getting enough money to live on, which has clear implications for how they manage their condition.

“For years the Hardship Fund has been an important resource, making a real difference to the lives of people with HIV, and THT is fully committed to preserving its legacy. We are working hard to get the national fund fully operational by next spring, and in the meantime we hope our interim fund will continue to help those who need it most.”

The new Hardship Fund is currently under review to make it more efficient.

A report released this week by THT and the National AIDS Trust said that one in six people diagnosed with HIV make use of the fund, and that the majority of beneficiaries are living in “extreme” poverty, on just 20 per cent of the average weekly income.

People can apply for Hardship Fund grants through thirteen services across the country. For more information, call THT Direct on 0845 12 21 200.