Looking to the future

Beth Isherwood
Published: 27 September 2012

Leaving a gift to a charity in your will is one of the most valuable and lasting ways you can support a cause you care about.

In the dark, early years of the HIV epidemic, when so many people with AIDS were dying from the disease, HIV organisations felt deeply uncomfortable following other charities in promoting legacy donations. Nevertheless, many people left gifts in their wills and their generosity helped build remarkable, dynamic services.

It’s perhaps a sign of how people with HIV’s lives have transformed, thanks to effective treatment, that we can write today about the benefits of remembering NAM in your will, with far less concern that we may cause offence or that it may be distasteful. And all of us should have a will after all.

Of course, deciding whether or not to include a charity in your will is a very personal decision, and we absolutely understand and respect that the ones you love will always come first in your thoughts. If the time ever feels right for you though, a gift in your will to NAM, no matter how big or small, will make a huge difference to the work we are able to achieve for people with HIV.

Where we’ve come from

2011 marked the 30th anniversary of the first reported cases of a disease that later came to be known as AIDS. In the 1980s when the epidemic first began, over 40% of people with HIV did not survive for more than two years after diagnosis. Today, thanks to phenomenal advances in science, the right treatment and care can mean a near-normal lifespan.

Thanks to years of loyal support from our generous donors, NAM has been able to respond to changing needs every step of the way; from providing information on taking the multitude of pills early treatment required, and how to deal with their often devastating side-effects, to information about HIV and ageing, living well and, now, information about prospects for a cure.

Where we are now

NAM has audiences in over 185 countries around the world and our website is one of the world’s leading HIV websites. 

Our newsletter HIV treatment update has been keeping people up to date with the latest treatment news, research and developments for 20 years. In that time, people have relied on HTU to keep them informed – and they still do, with over 60% of respondents from our latest reader survey telling us HTU is the only printed source of information about HIV they receive.

NAM’s award-winning information range has been praised by clinicians, the British Medical Association and, most importantly, people with HIV themselves. We work with 770 clinics and support groups across the UK to ensure that as many people as possible can access the vital information they need to stay healthy. Last year alone we distributed over 81,000 patient information resources across the UK.

Throughout our development one thing has remained constant, and that is the profound effect NAM’s information can have on people’s lives. We know that accessing reliable and accurate information can have an extremely positive, and sometimes life-changing, effect. We know that people are able to change their lives for the better thanks to the information they have received from NAM. And we know this because people tell us. Earlier this year Patrick told us:

"I was diagnosed with HIV in December last year at the age of 24...I was scared and felt alone. I inititally couldn't bring myself to talk to even my closest friends or family about the diagnosis. aidsmap.com has helped me beyond belief and helped me to talk to others in person. You are an invaluable resource, thank you! Seriously thank you."

Looking to the future

HIV is a long-term condition and this brings with it a different set of challenges. A person living with HIV needs reliable information to understand their treatment and care options, how to monitor their health, how to deal with side-effects – the list goes on.

We want to continue to be there for people like Patrick who rely on us to keep them informed at often frightening times in their lives, and to reach and empower more people with HIV to live longer, healthier lives.

Leaving a gift in your will can make such a huge difference to the work NAM can achieve. No matter how big or small, whether it’s five or five thousand pounds, you can make your money count, and make a real change to the lives of people with HIV.

With your help we can do more

The commitment and generosity of our supporters is what has been at the heart of NAM’s success over the years. By leaving a gift to NAM in your will you will help us extend the reach of our vital information still further and improve the future for people with HIV.

Crucially, your support also allows us to remain wholly independent; leaving a gift to NAM will help us to ensure there is always accurate, reliable and unbiased HIV information available to anyone who needs it.

If the time is right for you to consider leaving a gift to NAM in your will, you can find out more about how to do so at Remember a Charity or contact us for more information.