The raTrust works with individuals and groups that are at risk of contracting STIs including HIV, concentrating on the physical, social and mental well-being of those we work with. We offer a judgement-free environment and we promote a positive, safe and respectful approach to sexuality and sexual relationships, as well as seeking to rid the world of the stigma associated with an HIV-positive diagnosis.
Nearly 500,000 people are diagnosed with STIs in the UK annually, with the infection rate growing year on year. This increase is largely due to lack of knowledge about safe sex among young people, reckless sexual behaviour and them not knowing enough about condom use or personal hygiene.
The raTrust strives to reach high-risk groups by creating effective information campaigns and educational materials. We promote sexual health information in campaigns on social media, where young people see it, as well as with outdoor advertising in targeted sites and with condom distribution.
HIV infection has many faces, but the one we come across most often is terrified, devastated and confused. News of the infection can seem like the end of the world, but we see it as the beginning of a shared journey. The disease affects tens of millions people worldwide. In the UK there are about 6,500 new cases of HIV every year, with approximately 134,000 HIV-positive people currently residing in the UK.
Many people living with HIV talk suffer from guilt, embarrassment and shame due to the high levels of stigma associated with this condition. This can adversely affect the levels of support they receive, from family, friends and professionals alike. This stigma is one of the main barriers to people taking a HIV test and receiving an early diagnosis. We want to stop discrimination across the board and make support available for all those who are HIV-positive or who have AIDS.
The raTrust was founded after a close friend of our Director died of AIDS, after contracting HIV while working as a sex worker. The raTrust is dedicated to working with those most at risk of contracting STIs including HIV. This means we work, non-judgmentally, with some of the estimated 120,000 sex workers across the UK. We provide them with condoms, give them advice about sexual health and point them in the direction of clinics and services that can help them and provide them with free HIV testing. In the near future we would like to open a drop-in service where they will feel safe, receive confidential support and will have friends around. We know that, with your help, this dream will become a possibility soon.
Last updated April 14, 2018