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HIV charity to quit after losing funding
3:10pm Tuesday 12th March 2013 in News
TERRENCE Higgins Trust, in Clarence Street, is due to close this year, after the local Primary Care Trust have withdrawn funding. The charity says it will now centralise its services in Colchester.
A local resident and HIV sufferer, who asked not to be named, said: “I myself have benefited greatly from this service, as have many others, and I feel this decision will be a terrible mistake for the local community.
“Terrence Higgins Trust also do a lot of prevention work. If they are able to prevent one person from contracting H.I.V in the first place, it would save the NHS £10,000 per year on medication alone, not to mention reduced pressure on the councils adult social care department.”
Conservative Councillor Mark Flewitt, who represents St Laurence ward and is an active campaigner on Aids and HIV issues, is sceptical about the logic behind the decision. He said: “I fear that losing the Terrence Higgins Trust presence in Southend will leave a huge gap in the demand for the prevention and counselling area of sexual health work.”
The trust currently offers advice, information, counselling, group work, and testing for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. It also offers financial advice, benefits advice, and support for victims of hate crime.
Victoria Gamble, Terrence Higgins Trust service manager for the eastern region, said of the closure in an email to employees, volunteers and campaigners: “The service will obviously be reduced, but we will do our best to provide for people in greatest need.”
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