• Terrence Higgins Trust employs our first gay men's health education officer, housing officer, women's officer and solicitor. 
  • The 6th International Conference on AIDS is held in San Francisco amid protests about the US immigration policies banning entry to the US of HIV infected immigrants, aliens and short-term visitors. Many groups and organisations boycotted the conference, including Terrence Higgins Trust.
  • The red ribbon is launched as an international symbol of AIDS awareness.


  • Our first World AIDS Day street collection raises £25,000.
  • Freddie Mercury dies of AIDS.
  • Basketball star Magic Johnson announces he has HIV.
  • The National Audit Office shows that millions of pounds allocated for AIDS have been misspent on other programmes by health authorities.


  • Rock group Queen presents Terrence Higgins Trust with the initial proceeds from Bohemian Rhapsody (£974,000) at the Ivor Novello Awards Ceremony.
  • THT Helpline extends its operating hours to 12pm-10pm.
  • The living will is launched, now usually referred to as an advance decision, the result of a joint project with King's College. 
  • Tennis player Arthur Ashe announces his HIV diagnosis.
  • Benetton uses an image of a man dying of AIDS to advertise its clothes and receives widespread criticism.


  • Health Minister Virginia Bottomley cuts funding for Terrence Higgins Trust by two-thirds.
  • An auction of Elton John's record collection raises £182,000 for Terrence Higgins Trust.
  • 'Positive Lives' photographic exhibition opens at the Photographer's Gallery.
  • Tony Whitehead, the first Chair of Terrence Higgins Trust, is canonised by the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.
  • To mark our 10th anniversary, Jonathan Mann gives a lecture on human rights and HIV.
  • The UK Coalition of People living with HIV and AIDS is launched in London.
  • Russian ballet star Rudolf Nureyev dies of AIDS.
  • Arthur Ashe dies of AIDS.
  • Results of the European Concorde Drug Trial on AZT announced showing some limitations to its effectiveness as an early treatment.


  • Paul Gambaccini launches the fundraising initiative the '300 Club' at the charity premiere of The Age of Innocence.
  • The government's S64 funding to Terrence Higgins Trust, London Lighthouse and AIDS Ahead is cut.
  • Health Minister Julia Cumberlege blocks a £2m Health Education Authority safer sex campaign and suspends all of its sexual health work.
  • Film-maker Derek Jarman dies with AIDS.
  • Tom Hanks wins an Oscar for playing an HIV positive gay man in the film Philadelphia.
  • A project manager with Scottish AIDS Monitor launches the first comprehensive gay men’s health project in the UK.


  • The number of AIDS diagnoses in the UK reaches 10,000. More than 25,000 people in the UK are now living with HIV.
  • The 300 Club reaches its fundraising target of £300,000.
  • Terrence Higgins Trust and Crusaid create a joint hardship fund.
  • The Treatment Action Taskforce is formed and Positive Times and Positive Nation are launched. 
  • The results of the clinical trial 'Delta' confirm that combining the drug AZT with ddI or ddC is far more effective than AZT on its own.
  • The World Health Organisation global programme on AIDS is closed as planned, attracting widespread criticism.


  • We launch our first website and become a founder member of the Telephone Helplines Association.
  • The Community HIV and AIDS Prevention Strategy (CHAPS) is launched.
  • The first Terrence Higgins Trust Christmas fundraising event is held at Selfridges, Oxford Street.
  • Terrence Higgins Trust, African Advocacy Foundation and ATP launch a campaign to ensure availability of the new treatments: the ‘It’s Not Over’ campaign. 
  • UNAIDS replaces the WHO global program on AIDS.
  • Protease inhibitors, a new class of HIV drugs, are widely discussed at the Vancouver AIDS conference, giving new hope for effective treatment. 
  • Triple combination therapy using protease inhibitors becomes standard treatment, replacing dual therapy.
  • Heavyweight boxer Tommy Morrison is identified as having HIV after being tested prior to a fight, and as a result is barred from the ring everywhere.
  • The viral load test is developed, providing information about disease progression. 


  • The Terrence Higgins Trust Legal Services Group receives an award for 'Best Pro Bono Activity'.
  • We employ our first health promotion officer for African people.
  • Tony Whitehead is awarded an MBE for his services to Terrence Higgins Trust.
  • Helpline is awarded health services accreditation as a quality service to the public.
  • 30 million people living with HIV worldwide but death rates fall dramatically with the advent of effective combination treatment.
  • It becomes apparent that the new drugs can have some serious side effects.


  • Our African health promotion team is established and we win a national African health promotion resources contract.
  • London Lighthouse closes its residential unit in response to decreased need.
  • Jonathan Mann, the first director of the Global Program on AIDS, dies in an air crash along with his wife, the AIDS researcher Mary-Lou Clements-Mann.
  • The first human trial of an AIDS vaccine starts, using 5,000 volunteers from across the USA.
  • In South Africa, an AIDS activist is beaten to death by her neighbours after revealing her HIV positive status on TV.


  • Chief executive Nick Partridge awarded an OBE for services to people with HIV and AIDS.
  • Terrence Higgins Trust leads mergers with Bridgeside in Leeds, HIV Network in Coventry, Sussex AIDS Trust in Brighton, OxAIDS in Oxford and, later in the year, with counselling organisation Red Admiral Project in London.
  • Launch of the 'It's Prejudice that's Queer' campaign.
  • The World Health Report lists AIDS as the fourth biggest killer worldwide, only 20 years after the epidemic began.
  • The number of new HIV diagnoses in the UK among heterosexuals exceeds those among gay and bisexual men for the first time. 
  • Russia's official AIDS prevention centre reports a 12-fold increase in new HIV cases in Moscow.
  • The inaugural ‘Diana, Princess of Wales, Lecture on AIDS’ is held in London, given by Kofi Annan, Secretary General of the United Nations.
  • In the UK a judge orders that a baby born to a mother with HIV be tested for HIV against her father’s wishes.
  • 33 million people are estimated as living worldwide with HIV/AIDS.
  • The Scottish Parliament and the National Assembly for Wales are formed with responsibility for devolved matters such as health, education, justice, rural affairs and transport.