Health Minister Simon Burns will be visiting HIV and sexual health charity Terrence Higgins Trust’s (THT) Chelmsford centre on Friday 11th June at 11am. During his visit, Simon will meet THT’s Chief Executive, Sir Nick Partridge, along with local service users and staff to find out first hand about the issues facing people in the region when it comes to HIV and sexual health.

Figures from the East of England show that in 2008 alone, 3,949 people in the region needed HIV care. In the same year 461 people were newly diagnosed with HIV. As the new government takes shape it’s crucial that MPs are aware of local issues, including whether current sexual health services meet people’s needs.

THT provides a dedicated range of sexual health services for people living with HIV in Chelmsford including:
• Support groups
• Advice about benefits, employment, immigration and housing
• Legal advice
• Assistance accessing grants, respite and complementary therapies
• Counselling
• Education for the community about HIV and sexually transmitted infections
.
Health Minister Simon Burns said: “I recognise and admire the important work that Terrence Higgins Trust does both nationally and here in Chelmsford. The positive impact THT makes to the lives of those people living with HIV is extraordinary, and the assistance they receive in enabling them to live normal, healthy lives is superb.

I am delighted to be able to visit Terrence Higgins Trust today as one of my first Ministerial visits and see first hand the work they do. Their presence in Chelmsford is a true asset to the local area.”

Sir Nick Partridge, Chief Executive of Terrence Higgins Trust said: “We are delighted to welcome Simon Burns to our service in Chelmsford today. Government interest in THT’s work comes at a crucial time when such vitally needed support services must be recognised and sustained for the years ahead. More people are living with HIV than ever before and we can not afford to ignore it.”

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