In 1981 the world was just learning about HIV and it terrified entire communities back then. In 2016 we know so much more about the virus and despite the fact that the cure has not been invented yet, we have learnt to minimise the symptoms to ensure longevity of HIV-positive people. However, the stigma of HIV/AIDS is something that we cannot deny and people who were diagnosed with the virus face horrifying discrimination and abuse every day. RaTrust is there to put an end to humiliation, prejudice and intolerance.
RaTrust is a charitable organisation which aims end to discrimination and stigmatising of HIV-positive people. The charity wants to educate the communities about HIV/AIDS in order to change the way we look at the virus and treat the people who have contracted it. Apart from that, the main aim of raTrust is to promote responsible sexual behaviours, teach people about proper hygiene, contraception and STI and STD prevention.
RaTrust came to life in 2013 after a friend of charity’s founder died of HIV complications. Since then the organisation grew significantly in size and has launched a number of successful educational campaigns. It operates on a volunteering basis, with doctors, psychologists and individuals working together for a better future of STI-free communities.
RaTrust works with high-risk groups of sex workers from all over the UK and distributes condoms, assists with advice and counselling, offers a safe space to talk about the problems and, whenever necessary, points out in the direction of free clinics. At raTrust, the volunteers stress the need of frequent STI tests, especially among people working in sex trade. The campaigns launched by raTrust teach the UK community that knowing the results of HIV test is a gift and assures that living with the virus does not have to be a death sentence.
Widespread campaigns are not the only action the charity has undertaken for the past few years. Together with a group of dedicated volunteers, raTrust works with individuals and offers medical and mental help to all the people who are at risk of contracting STIs and, most importantly, it has created an all-encompassing virtual repository of knowledge about sexual health, HIV and STIs. Through the shop, they distribute self tests, including chlamydia test, blood profile test, and even 7-in-one test which detects chlamydia, gonorrhoea, ureplasma, mycoplasma genitalium, trichomonas vaginalis, gardnerella vaginalis and herpes simplex I/II altogether. The way it works is very simple – you receive a self test kit, take a swab, and send it back to raTrust’s lab, all that maintaining maximum privacy to protect the patients.
Over the years, raTrust has build a solid circle of volunteers, followers and organisational supporters, such as Place For You, Lovehoney, Soho Original Books, Medical Diagnosis and Urgent London Doctors. If you would like to get involved, you can donate money to help protect the most vulnerable society members. RaTrust’s work is not for profit, therefore you can be sure that every penny you donate will go directly to the ones in need.