Our aim this World AIDS Day is to support people living with HIV in the UK who are struggling through the turbulence and isolation caused by the global pandemic. Together we can:
- help people living with HIV to lead happy, healthy lives
- smash HIV stigma
- make the future free from HIV transmission
- reduce isolation and loneliness
- create a better future for everyone affected by HIV
The pandemic has affected us all and people living with HIV are no exception. In recent months, more people living with HIV have struggled to afford their basic needs, such as food, clothing, or travel to attend a doctor’s appointment or hospital visit. The unemployment rate for people living with HIV is already three times the national average at 15%.
In response, Terrence Higgins Trust increased our emergency Hardship Fund grants to people living with HIV who are struggling to afford these basic necessities. Between April and July, we provided 359 vital grants.
Donations and fundraising events help keep our Hardship Fund running. Together we can make sure that every person living with HIV can afford basic necessities this World AIDS Day.
Alongside financial issues, people living with HIV are among the most likely to be worrying about their health at this time. This particularly affects people who are not yet on treatment, have been living with HIV for a long time, or have compromised immune systems.
During lockdown, enquiries to our helpline THT Direct increased by 20%. We answered 3,488 queries, including many from people concerned about what the coronavirus meant for their health. With pressure on the NHS, we stepped up and filled the gap in provision to ensure that no-one was left without anyone to turn to during this difficult time.
Will you help keep THT Direct going through this crisis? Together we can ensure that people living with HIV have access to advice and information.
With more lockdowns and restrictions, isolation and loneliness will carry on rising. 82% of people aged 50+ living with HIV have experienced moderate to high levels of loneliness, and nearly half of women living with HIV have had a mental health diagnosis since their HIV diagnosis.
When the pandemic forced our face-to-face services to stop, we launched an emergency online response platform, Terrence Higgins Trust At Home. We’re providing free online counselling and emotional wellbeing support, employment development sessions and living well webinars. Demand for our counselling increased by 50% over lockdown and we are currently supporting up to 100 people every week.
Will you be there so every person living with HIV has access to the support they need?