AIDS Concern's response to the 2013 local HIV AIDS situation
(English version of the latest statistic: http://www.info.gov.hk/aids/english/surveillance/quarter.htm)
AIDS Concern’s response to the local HIV/AIDS situation in 2013:
Early testing and treatment is vital in maintaining health and life expectancy
Today (25th February), the Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) has announced that 144 cases of HIV infections were reported in the fourth quarter of 2013 , and a total of 559 new cases reported in 2013 --- the highest number recorded since 1984. 15% cases were identified by AIDS service organizations and of which half of them (40 cases) were revealed and reported through AIDS Concern. Most of the AIDS Concern cases were diagnosed at early stage and timely treatments were allowed.
With the emergence of HAART, which is known as the “triple cocktail treatment”, HIV infection has long been categorized as chronic disease. With proper treatment and counselling, HIV transmission can be greatly decreased too. In Hong Kong, the medical services and treatments are highly subsidized, allowing eligible People Living with HIV/AIDS (PLHIV) to pay only the standard charges as is charged for other illnesses. Among the newly reported cases in the fourth quarter of 2013, 66 % (95 cases) had received HIV specialist services at the DH or the Hospital Authority.
For the PLHIV who are not receiving proper treatment, Andrew Chidgey, Chief Executive of AIDS Concern, worried that they are putting their health at considerable risk and should reach out for medical assistance as soon as possible. “We should not overlook the fact that HIV remains a real threat to the health of infected population and only early treatment can maintain health and life expectancy.” Says Andrew.
Apart from addressing the importance of early treatment, Andrew said that emotional support is equally vital for PLHIV to live healthily with HIV. Andrew explained, “AIDS Concern always realizes the importance of providing emotional support to People Living with HIV/AIDS, and has been persistent in offering peer-counseling and peer-group support services for them to relieve their emotional and psychological stress. We also do home-visits and provide free transportation services for needed People Living with HIV/AIDS to attend their clinical appointments.”
Andrew said that with the reference to a latest research report of PLHIV Stigma Watch 2013 conducted by AIDS Concern and The Chinese University of Hong Kong, that “emotional support can help reduce People Living with HIV/AIDS’s psychological stress and hence helping them to lead a more positive and healthy life.”
Last but not least, AIDS Concern encourages individuals who had un-protected sex to take the HIV antibody test as soon as possible to learn about his/her HIV status. AIDS Concern mainly provides testing services to men and youth who had un-protected sex. Our one-stop testing services are free, anonymous and confidential and all the tests will go with pre- & post- test counselling, referral and support services.
AIDS Concern Testing Services
Testing Location: AIDS Concern Yau Ma Tei Health Service Center
Address: Unit 602, 6/F, King Centre, 23-29 Dundas Street, Yau Ma Tei, Kowloon
Enquire & Booking Hotline: 2394 6677