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International News

A Good Understanding: United Kingdom AIDS Charity Drive to Attract Black African and Gay Volunteers

June 10, 2002

The United Kingdom's leading HIV/AIDS charity, the Terrence Higgins Trust, is launching a volunteer recruitment campaign aimed at communities most affected by the disease -- gay men and black Africans. The number of people in Britain with HIV is forecast to rise 50 percent in the next five years, and the trust says it needs volunteers able to empathize with people using its services.

The recruitment campaign began Friday to coincide with the launch of National Volunteers' Week. Paula King, the trust's national volunteer manager, said, "Less than 10 percent of our volunteer workforce are black, and this is one of the things that the campaign wants to change. We are urging people with HIV and African people to come forward and help others, over the phone, face-to-face or behind the scenes." Black Africans account for almost a quarter of people in Britain with HIV and, according to the trust, they often come forward too late in search of help. The volunteer drive is also hoping to alert potential users to the charity's service.

Advertisements will be placed in minority ethnic and gay press over the next two months, with the support of the community fund, which distributes national lottery money to good causes. The trust now has centers in London, Brighton, the West Midlands, Leeds, Oxford, Wales and Bristol, following nine mergers with other charities in the past three years. When it was set up 20 years ago, the organization was run entirely by volunteers. National Volunteers' Week is June 7-14. It is estimated that there are 22 million volunteers in Britain, and the government is keen to get more people to give their time.

Back to other CDC news for June 10, 2002

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Adapted from:
Guardian (London)
06.05.02; Nicola Hill

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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
See Also
More News on HIV/AIDS in the United Kingdom