Terrence Higgins Trust Cymru has appointed Rhys Goode to lead and grow its work in Wales to ensure the country meets its goal of ending new HIV cases by 2030.
After working across all political parties to get a commitment to a Welsh HIV action plan since 2018, we’ve been been working closely with the Welsh Government to push this important work forward.
The action plan detailing how Wales will end new HIV cases by 2030 has been personally supported by First Minister Mark Drakeford and his cabinet colleagues.
Wales was the first UK nation to make it a national endeavour to end new HIV cases by the end of the decade. It also led the way on universal provision of PrEP, the drug taken by people who test HIV negative to protect against the virus.
The consultation has recently closed on the 26-point draft plan and is awaiting publication. That’s why we’re publicly committing to establishing a significant and sustainable presence in Wales to ensure progress remains on track and every tool is deployed to end the epidemic.
Rhys Goode has a track record of leading communications and campaigns across sectors to companies such as JustGiving and Klarna in-house, as well as a senior freelance consultant to several other high-profile brands. Goode combines his experience with a home-grown knowledge of the Welsh political scene, having grown up in the South Wales Valleys before starting a career in London.
Goode returned to South Wales at the end of 2020, having felt the pull back to the green grass of home during the pandemic to complete an MBA at Cardiff University. He is also a local councillor in Bridgend County Borough, representing his home village of Nant-y-moel.
“We have all the tools necessary to ensure no new HIV cases – now we need to deploy them.”— Rhys Goode
Head of Terrence Higgins Trust Cymrur
Rhys Goode said: ‘I am so excited to be taking on this role to shape the future of Terrence Higgins Trust Cymru. We have all the tools necessary to ensure no new HIV cases – now we need to deploy them.
‘With the help of Welsh Government and our other partners across Wales, we have an opportunity to drive HIV transmission to zero by 2030 while combating old stereotypes and stigma faced by many of those living with HIV.
‘I look forward to working closely with the Minister for Health, others in the Welsh Government, MSs of every party and councillors and health boards across the country to deliver this ambitious goal but also improve the patchy access to sexual health services outside Cardiff to ensure everyone can access high-quality care within their reach.’
Our Chief Executive Ian Green said: ‘We’re absolutely committed to playing our role in Wales reaching the life-changing goal of ending new HIV cases by 2030 and delighted that Rhys will be leading this work.
‘We know what needs to be done to achieve that 2030 target, including more HIV testing and access to prevention pill PrEP. But it won’t happen without a concerted effort and strong implementation of an ambitious HIV Action Plan for Wales.’
As the consultation opened on the draft HIV Action Plan, the Health Minister Eluned Morgan announced £3.9 million to further develop online postal HIV testing service established during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, additional funding is needed to drive awareness of HIV testing options, trial better in-hospital testing and to provide peer support to people living with HIV in Wales.