Earlier this year, the Government announced it would cease funding all specialist sexual health helplines, and instead begin the tender process for a new, central public health helpline. Despite this loss of funding and a challenging economic climate, Terrence Higgins Trust has decided to invest its own charitable resources to keep THT Direct open for the foreseeable future.
From Monday 15th October, THT Direct will be open for calls on weekdays between 10.00am and 8.00pm. Outside of those hours it will be closed, including at weekends. When the helpline is closed, callers will be directed to the information held on Terrence Higgins Trust’s websites, including its award-winning site for people living with HIV, myHIV (www.myhiv.org.uk ). The freephone number (0808 802 1221) will remain the same.
Genevieve Edwards, Director of Fundraising, said: “No charity is immune from the recession, but Terrence Higgins Trust is committed to providing the best possible service for the thousands of people each year who depend on us for support and advice around HIV and sexual health. THT Direct has an important role to play in this, and we are determined to raise the money to ensure the helpline stays open.
“With Government budgets under continued pressure, the support of our donors has never been more important. Front-line services like THT Direct can make all the difference to someone in dire need, but its continuation now depends entirely on the funds our supporters raise, whether through individual donations, sponsored challenges or fundraising events. Later this year, on World AIDS Day, our staff and volunteers across the UK will be out there fundraising like never before; we urge you to get involved in whatever way you can.”
THT Direct is a free telephone helpline established in 2001. Its trained advisers provide emotional support to those worried about their sexual health, or who have concerns about living with HIV. They also help callers access local services across the UK, whether provided by Terrence Higgins Trust or another organisation.
Topics covered include:
HIV testing, STI screening and accessing PEP
Benefits or housing
Problems at work or discrimination in any part of your life
Prosecutions for transmission of HIV
Reproduction, puberty and contraception