Terrence Higgins Trust commemorates Terry’s 70th birthday
The Terrence Higgins Trust is today marking the 70th birthday of Terry Higgins who died of AIDS-related illness.
The HIV-prevention trust was set up in 1982 in memory of Mr Higgins – who was one of the first British people to die of AIDS-related illness.
To mark what would have been Mr Higgins’ 70th birthday, the charity has rolled out a Health Wealth and Happiness Project (HWHP) across London, Bristol, West Midlands, Brighton, and Manchester.
The project focuses on providing support, advice, counselling and information to older people living with HIV.
The numbers of elderly people with HIV are set to drastically rise over the next decade as people with the virus get older, with 53 per cent of people with HIV currently aged 35-49.
Dr Rosemary Gillespie, Terrence Higgins Trust CEO, said: “As we commemorate Terry Higgin’s 70th birthday we are reminded that people with HIV are now living into older age.
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“Our 50 plus research revealed that a significant proportion of older people with HIV live alone, experience poverty, and have limited family support.
“HWHP was set up to tackle this through provisions such as debt management, one to one support, housing and benefit advice, volunteering opportunities, and complimentary therapy sessions.”
Tony Calvert, one of the original founders of the Terrence Higgins Trust, said: “Terry was the first of many friends I lost to HIV. He passed away at St Thomas’s Hospital, London on Sunday 4th July 1982, 25 days after his 37th birthday.
“It was the decision of his friends, as a group, to set-up a charity in his name, Terrence Higgins Trust, shortly after.
“I remember Terry with great fondness every time his birthday comes along.
“Today (10th June) would have been my dear friend’s 70th birthday. I would like to say thanks Terry – for being my friend, and to the charity that carries your great name, without which programmes like HWHP would not exist.”
Nat Sloane, Chair of the Big Lottery Fund England, said: “The Big Lottery Fund are proud to be part of the vital work of the Terence Higgins Trust.
“We wish them every success to continue and expand the great work they are doing across the country providing crucial support and advocacy for more older people living with HIV.”