It’s been announced Sir Nick Partridge will step down from his role as chief executive of Britain’s largest sexual health charity in October 2013.

Sir Nick joined Terrence Higgins Trust (THT) as its first paid member of staff in 1985 when it operated out of a small London office run by a determined and dedicated group of volunteers.

THT is now the largest HIV and sexual health charity in Europe, supporting more than 100,000 people with HIV or sexual health needs every year through over 30 centres across England, Scotland and Wales.

It was the first charity in the UK to be set up in response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic, and was established in 1982 following the death of Terry Higgins, the first person in the UK to be confirmed to have died with AIDS.

The 31st anniversary of Terry’s death was marked earlier this month.

Sir Nick Partridge said: “It’s been an extraordinary three decades, and a privilege to serve such a remarkable charity as chief executive. Having led Terrence Higgins Trust through its 30th anniversary, the time feels right for me to move on to other challenges. I know that the Trust will continue to go from strength to strength and of course I’ll continue to support that journey as a friend of the charity.”

Chair of Trustees of Terrence Higgins Trust, Professor Christopher Bones said: “We are hugely grateful to Sir Nick for his enormous contribution to Terrence Higgins Trust over the last three decades. His vision, networks and insight are huge assets, and I am delighted that he will remain an important part of our family in the years to come.

“Our environment is one of continual change and we know that the future holds significant challenges. The board is now looking for the next chief executive to lead Terrence Higgins Trust to 2020 and beyond.

From 1 November, Paul Ward, currently deputy chief executive at THT, will become acting chief executive.