Terrence Higgins Trust

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Terrence Higgins Trust
Founded1982; 41 years ago (1982) (as Terry Higgins Trust)
TypeCharitable organisation
Registration no.England and Wales: 288527 Scotland: SC039986
FocusHIV and Sexual health, Health policy
  • 439 Caledonian Road

    London N7 9BG

    England, U.K.
Coordinates51°31′43″N 0°07′09″W / 51.528555°N 0.119243°W / 51.528555; -0.119243
Area served
United Kingdom
Chief Executive
Richard Angell[1]
Jonathan McShane
Medical Director
Dr Kate Nambiar[2]
Revenue (2021)
£11 million[3]
Staff (2021)

Terrence Higgins Trust is a British charity that campaigns about and provides services relating to HIV and sexual health. In particular, the charity aims to end the transmission of HIV in the UK; to support and empower people living with HIV, to eradicate stigma and discrimination around HIV, and to promote good sexual health (including safe sex).

The Trust is generally considered the UK's leading HIV and AIDS charity,[5] and the largest in Europe.[6] It is also the lead organisation for Public Health England's HIV prevention partnership HIV Prevention England.[7]


Established in 1982, Terrence Higgins Trust was the first charity in the UK to be set up in response to HIV and AIDS.[8] It was initially named Terry Higgins Trust,[9] after Terry Higgins, who died aged 37 on 4 July 1982 at St Thomas' Hospital, London. He was among the first people in the UK known to have died from the AIDS virus, which was only identified the previous year.[citation needed] Princess Margaret was an early prominent patron, becoming the first member of the royal family to publicly associate themselves with a charity focusing on AIDS and sexual health.

Terry's close friends Martyn Butler, Tony Harris-Calvert and Terry's partner Rupert Whitaker along with other friends started the Trust to raise funds for research as a way of preventing suffering due to AIDS. Shortly, with the generation of a groundswell of support for the organisation at a meeting at Red Lion Square, Tony Whitehead and others joined the group and formally founded the organisation and saw it through registration as a charity to provide direct services to those affected by HIV.[citation needed]

The trust was named after Terry to personalise and humanise the issue of AIDS. It was formalised in August 1983 when it adopted a constitution and opened a bank account, and the name of the trust was changed (Terrence rather than Terry) to sound more formal. It incorporated as a limited company in November 1983 and gained charitable status in January 1984.

Since its inception 12 years ago, most of its fund-raising events have been hip and low-key affairs, from its first disco at the London club Heaven to gala screenings of Dracula and the comedy shows Hysteria and Filth...[10]

Hysteria 1 was a comedy benefit for Terrence Higgins Trust, produced by Stephen Fry.[11]

Hysteria 2, on 18 September 1989 at the Sadler's Wells Theatre in London, benefited Terrence Higgins Trust.[12] It was produced by Stephen Fry and broadcast on Channel 4, with a telethon.[11]

Hysteria 3, at the London Palladium on Sunday, 30 June 1991, benefited Terrence Higgins Trust.[13] Stephen Fry hosted, with Steven Wright, Hugh Laurie, Elton John, Ruby Wax, Rowan Atkinson, Eddie Izzard, Craig Ferguson, Lenny Henry, Julian Clary, Josie Lawrence, Jools Holland, Dawn French, Jennifer Saunders, Ian McKellen, Edwin Starr, Clement Freud, Beverly Craven, Ben Elton, and Tony Slattery.[14][citation needed]

The charity received almost a million pounds in donations over the Christmas of 1991, with the proceeds of Queen's re-released chart-topper "Bohemian Rhapsody" going entirely to the charity, following the recent AIDS-related death of lead singer Freddie Mercury.[15] After being diagnosed as HIV positive in 1987, Mercury had been concerned that financial support should be available to those less fortunate than himself.

Lisa Power, former corporate head of policy at the Terrence Higgins Trust, denounced the views of Pope Benedict XVI on the use of condoms to prevent AIDS and said: "We deeply regret the continued misinformation around condoms, which remain the most effective way of preventing the spread of HIV."[16]

In August 2015 first-team players from Hull Kingston Rovers teamed up with 1980s band Erasure to record a charity version of the band's single "A Little Respect", with a third of the proceeds going to the trust.[17]


Activist Nick Partridge, who joined the Trust in 1985, was its chief executive until 2013.[5] Ian Green was the charity's Chief Executive from 2016-23. Richard Angell became CEO on 1 March 2023.

The charity's celebrity patrons have included Sir Richard Branson, Freddie Mercury, Simon Callow, Lord Cashman, Julian Clary, Dame Judi Dench, Tracey Emin, Stephen Fry, Paul Gambaccini, Sir Elton John, Caroline Quentin, Gaby Roslin, Dr Miriam Stoppard and George Michael.[18]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Richard Angell becomes Chief Executive of Terrence Higgins Trust". www.tht.org.uk. Terrence Higgins Trust. Retrieved 2 March 2023.
  2. ^ "Terrence Higgins Trust". www.tht.org.uk. Terrence Higgins Trust. Retrieved 2 March 2023.
  3. ^ "Charity overview, THE TERRENCE HIGGINS TRUST - 288527". Charity Commission of England and Wales. Retrieved 6 July 2022.
  4. ^ "Annual Report 2021" (PDF). Terrence Higgins Trust. Retrieved 6 July 2022.
  5. ^ a b Greenhalgh, Hugo (8 March 2013). "At home: Sir Nick Partridge". Financial Times. Retrieved March 9, 2013.
  6. ^ "How it all began". Terrence Higgins Trust. Retrieved 25 August 2015.
  7. ^ "HIV Prevention England". HIV Prevention England. Retrieved 6 July 2017.
  8. ^ Martin Hoskins. "FROM FEAR TO HOPE The Story of the Terrence Higgins Trust". Archived from the original on July 9, 2001. Retrieved 2012-09-27."How it all began". Retrieved 2012-09-27.
  9. ^ Julia Stuart (2002-07-02). "Rupert Whitaker: 'I've lost 35 friends to HIV'". The Independent. London. Archived from the original on May 2, 2011. Retrieved 2009-05-05.
  10. ^ Simon Garfield (19 October 1994). "The Aids bash comes of age: The Terrence Higgins Trust, facing financial cuts and attacks in the press, has taken its fund-raising up-market". The Independent. Retrieved 11 July 2018.
  11. ^ a b "1980s - our history". Terrence Higgins Trust. Retrieved 11 July 2018.
  12. ^ McCall, Douglas (8 November 2013). Monty Python: A Chronology, 1969–2012, 2d ed. McFarland. ISBN 9781476613116. Retrieved 11 July 2018 – via Google Books.
  13. ^ "Hysteria 3". Retrieved 11 July 2018 – via Amazon.
  14. ^ Hysteria 3 (Comedy), retrieved 2022-07-06
  15. ^ Duckett, Simon (10 August 2001). "Goldmine". Retrieved 25 August 2015.
  16. ^ Pisa, Nick (17 March 2009). "Anger as Pope Benedict XVI says condoms make Aids worse". The Daily Telegraph.
  17. ^ "Rugby players show A Little Respect ahead of cup final". Dial2Donate. Retrieved 27 August 2015.
  18. ^ "Our patrons". Terrence Higgins Trust. Retrieved 2017-07-06.

External links[edit]