THT celebrates milestone in sexual health services

Aids awareness and use of condoms in Bristol may well have increased as a result of the first HIV support group to be set up in the area which, alongside the Terrence Higgins Trust (THT), is celebrating its 25th anniversary this week.

The Aled Richards Trust (ART) merged with the THT in 2000, having been founded in 1985 after local resident Aled Richards died from the virus.

Pete Connor, who now works for THT but began volunteering with the ART in 1986, noted that people were "understandably terrified" of the disease back then as so little was actually known about it.

Steve Jones, regional manager for the THT - which campaigns to eradicate stigma and discrimination relating to HIV - made further comments, saying that since the ART was established, prospects for those with the condition have "changed immeasurably".

"With advances in testing and medication, HIV has become a manageable condition and those diagnosed today can live full, healthy lives, well into their 70s or 80s," he remarked.