Chapman helps celebrates 30 years of charity’s good work

Cynon Valley AM Christine Chapman recently met with representatives of the Terrence Higgins Trust at the Welsh Assembly as the charity  launched celebrations for its 30th anniversary.

The Terrence Higgins Trust, the UK’s largest HIV and sexual health charity, held the event on 4th July to “Thank Terry”, and mark 30 years since Welsh-born Terry Higgins was the first person in the UK publicly identified to have died with AIDS. Mrs Chapman said “I have long been a supporter of the Terrence Higgins Trust, as they do excellent work and I am proud to be able to join in their celebrations and ‘Thank Terry’ for the positive legacy he has left for the country’s sexual health”.

Originally from Haverfordwest, Terry Higgins died of an AIDS-related illness on 4th July 1982, aged 37 years old. That same year, three of his closest friends founded the Terrence Higgins Trust, using Terry’s name in the hope of humanising and personalising AIDS in a very public way. The charity, which first began working in Wales in June 2003 following a merger with Cardiff AIDS Helpline, now runs a range of sexual health services across Wales.

Mrs Chapman said: “We know that advances in medicine mean that a prognosis of HIV is different now to what it was 30 years ago. But there are many people in Wales who don’t get tested, as they think HIV doesn’t affect them and we must tackle this stigma”.

Steve Jones, National Director of Terrence Higgins Trust Cymru, said: “In 2012, it really is within our grasp to slash HIV rates. But that will require everyone’s commitment if it is to become a reality. It is vital that we place renewed emphasis on HIV prevention, awareness and services across Wales.”

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