Today (4 July) marks 31 years since the death of Terry Higgins, the first person in the UK to be confirmed to have died with AIDS.
His friends and partner, Rupert Whitaker, founded the Terrence Higgins Trust in Terry’s name, so that others wouldn’t have to suffer the way he had suffered.
Terrence Higgins Trust (THT) was the first charity in the UK to be set up in response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic, and was established in 1982.
Terry Higgins, who previously worked as a Hansard reporter in Parliament and a barman in the central London nightclub Heaven, died aged 37 on 4 July 1982 in St Thomas’ Hospital, London.
Speaking on the thirtieth anniversary of his death last year, Sir Nick Partridge, chief executive at Terrence Higgins Trust, who joined THT in 1985, said: “Gay men have been at the forefront of the nation’s fight against HIV. Ours was the first community to experience the devastating effects of AIDS, and equally the first to fight back. Thanks to Terry, his friends, and thousands like them, we are in a far stronger position today than we might otherwise have been.”