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00:37 | 29th April 2017

News: UK

Thu 14 Oct, 2010
By Sam Bristowe


Claire had an irrepressible enthusiasm for life. She was a pioneer in encouraging people to talk openly about sex, sexuality and sexual health when there was little knowledge about these subjects

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Agony aunt and author come gay charity patron Claire Rayner died aged 79 and Terrace Higgins Trust CEO celebrates the acclaimed journalist and her work for reaching equality.

Following her intestinal surgery earlier this year the OBE receiver Rayner fell ill on numerous occasions and passed away earlier this week.

Before passing away in her Harrow she never lost her sense of humour, as she joked in her last moments: "Tell David Cameron that if he screws up my beloved NHS I'll come back and bloody haunt him."

Being an active patron of sexual health charity Terrence Higgins Trust, the CEO of the charity, Sir Nick Partridge, said about the passing of their much loved patron: "We're greatly saddened to learn of the death of our patron Claire Rayner.

Claire was one of the first people to recognise just how serious the impact of HIV and AIDS would be, from the early eighties, and she worked tirelessly to raise awareness of the condition, and sexual health issues as a whole, to help people lead healthier and more fulfilling sex lives.

"Claire had an irrepressible enthusiasm for life. She was a pioneer in encouraging people to talk openly about sex, sexuality and sexual health when there was little knowledge about these subjects. She had a strong awareness of the difficult issues facing people diagnosed with AIDS and HIV, particularly stigma and discrimination, which she fought valiantly in the work that she did both as a nurse and in the media.

"We have been immensely fortunate to have Claire's backing and involvement from Terrence Higgins Trust's very early days. She was always willing to help; offering support and advice, acting as a spokesperson and attending our fundraising events and health programme launches, alongside her husband Des. We're incredibly proud of Claire and all the fantastic work that she did for us, and people affected by HIV, as well as the huge difference she made to sexual health as a whole. Our thoughts are with Des and the family."

 

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