Leading Scottish HIV charity to shut down

2 months ago 12

Aids ribbonImage source, Getty Images

A Scottish charity that supports people living with HIV is to be closed down.

A statement by HIV Scotland said a "number of significant challenges" - including the resignations of board members - meant it had to be wound up.

Governance concerns and the "precarious funding climate" were cited.

The charity was set up as the Scottish Voluntary HIV and AIDS Forum in 1994 and was at the vanguard of prevention and treatment initiatives for the virus in Scotland.

HIV Scotland's self-testing services are now closed.

A statement from the charity's board members posted on its website said: "Due to a number of significant challenges, the board has taken the incredibly difficult decision to wind-up the charity.

"HIV Scotland has been operating within a complex and challenging environment. "

Recent changes

It added: "This has included significant changes in governance, with the recruitment of a new chair and board and an entirely new management and staff team within the last two years.

"While this brought some stability to the charity, there have been some recent changes within the organisation's governance which have caused concern. This has led to the chair and a significant number of the board resigning from their positions."

The statement cites funding issues and maintaining the support of external stakeholders as two further issues facing the charity.

In 2021, HIV Scotland was fined £10,000 after it sent out an email containing the personal details of dozens of people.

The data protection breach involved an email to 105 people, including patient advocates representing people living in Scotland with HIV.

The Scottish government has a target of zero HIV transmissions by 2030.

Labour MSP Monica Lennon said it was a "vital goal that must be achieved".

"The closure of HIV Scotland is truly sad and will be worrying for people living with HIV," she added in a post on Twitter.

"Thinking of all the staff and volunteers, past and present - they can be proud of their legacy."

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