Portrait of Terence Higgins unveiled at the Senate as part of Welsh government’s plan to end new HIV cases by 2030

A portrait of the late Terrence Higgins has been unveiled at the Senade in Cardiff. Nearly 40 years after his death, a new portrait will now be installed in the government building to celebrate his legacy. The Terence Higgins Trust was founded shortly after his death by his partner Rupert and his close friend. Originally from Haverfordwest Terence left at the age of 18 to join the Royal Navy before moving to London.

The picture comes as the Welsh government sets out its plan to end new HIV cases in the country by 2030, and begins a 12-week public consultation on the proposals. Mr Higgins died on 4 July 1982 at the age of 37, when it was not yet known what HIV was. An effective treatment did not become available until 1996.

He also worked as a barman and DJ at Haven Nightclub, and it was there that he collapsed and was taken to St Thomas’ Hospital where he was diagnosed with parasitic pneumonia, from which he died suddenly. After his death, his partner Rupert Whitaker and his friend Martin Butler founded the Terrence Higgins Trust to raise awareness of the mystery new disease and help save lives.

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The Terrence Higgins Trust is now the UK’s leading HIV and sexual health charity, providing support, information and advice services for people living with HIV and those affected by HIV or poor sexual health.

Mr Whitaker and Mr Butler were both made OBEs at the Queen’s Birthday Honors this year. Trust Chief Executive Officer Ian Green said: “We have made incredible progress in the fight against HIV since Terry’s death 40 years ago. But we must never forget Terry and the millions of others who have died since the beginning of the pandemic. have been lost.

“We are fortunate that we are at a point where we have all the tools we need to prevent someone else from getting HIV – something that seems like it never could have happened a few decades ago.

“We are indebted to those we have lost – everything we have – including the prevention pill PrEP and rapid testing options – to help Meczyki achieve the life-changing goal of eliminating new HIV cases by 2030. to do.”

Artist Nathan Wyburn created the illustration of Mr Higgins, taken from a photograph from his school days, using red and green stamps in the shape of the charity’s heart logo.

Artist Nathan Wyburn created a portrait of an unseen childhood photo of Terry using heart-shaped stamps
(Image: Terence Higgins Trust)
A Black And White Photo Of Terence Higgins In His Youth
Terence ‘Terry’ Higgins
(Image: Terence Higgins Trust)

Mr Wyburn said: “As an artist who comments on and reflects on major social issues, and a proud gay man who is being asked to mark the 40th anniversary of the Terrence Higgins Trust, a lot It’s a great honor.
“I wanted to make something that would show Terry as a young Welshman, so I thought why not turn him into the Welsh dragon of our flag?”

A photo exhibition of Welsh people living with HIV who can now live longer, healthier lives because of effective treatment, called the HIV of the 21st Century, will also be launched in the Cenade on Wednesday. Gian Molinu, President of Fast Track Cardiff & Vale and Pride Cymru, said: “We need to challenge how the public views HIV and show that we are just getting on with our lives.

“Stigma and fear keep people from getting tested, and hiding yourself out of fear of how people will react is bad for your mental health. HIV is nothing to be ashamed of and we in Meczyki start saying it out loud Will happen.”

Education Minister Jeremy Miles said: “Terry Higgins is best known as an inspiration to primary AIDS activists and the organization that bears his name has achieved a lot in this four-decade pandemic. I hope this art will help people.” We will never forget the unnecessary pain of the AIDS crisis, therefore, in Meczyki.”

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