AIDS Concern's response to the latest local HIV AIDS situation (1st quarter,2014)
(Note: Please click here for English version of the latest statistic)
Latest DH figures show highest ever HIV infection rate, again
Early testing & treatment urged: Not to miss the benefits of early treatment
Today (27th May), the Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) has announced that 154 cases of HIV infections were reported in the first quarter (Jan - Mar) of 2014 – the highest number recorded since 1984. The figures also reveals a worrying fact that among the newly reported cases in the first quarter, about 32% of them (49 cases) are not receiving HIV specialist services at the DH or the Hospital Authority.
With the emergence of HAART, which is known as the “triple cocktail treatment”, HIV infection can be managed. With proper treatment and counselling, HIV transmission can be greatly decreased too.
Mandy Cheung, Program Director of AIDS Concern says:
“The high number of infections shows that further action is required. HIV causes suffering. We need people to understand the risk and protect themselves. People worried about HIV infection can contact AIDS Concern to get tested or go to their doctor.”
While providing HIV Antibody Rapid Testing, AIDS Concern also provides emotional support, counselling and referral services for people living with HIV. One of the services “Ride Concern” provides free transportation services to people living with HIV (with mobility problems or those who need assistance) for them to attend their clinical appointments. Meanwhile, AIDS Concern also assists people with HIV to form peer-groups allowing them to express their feelings and to share their experience.
Tony Ho, who has been working at AIDS Concern and responsible for “Ride Concern” - free transportation services - for more than 7 years, describes some of the clients who use the service:
“One young man I went to visit was so weak that he needed to sit in a wheel chair and was quite depressed. I talked to him and encouraged him to be more positive in fighting HIV/AIDS. With medical advancement, as long as it is received early, people with HIV can live a relatively normal life in terms of appearance, lifestyle. It’s more important for us to ensure there is sufficient emotional support for people with HIV.” Tony explains that the young man he helped has improved significantly after receiving treatment for two years – he can now walk and work again, “Holding a positive attitude is the key in fighting HIV/AIDS.”
In Hong Kong, the medical services and treatments are subsidized, allowing eligible people with HIV to pay only standard charges. Mandy Cheung said: “Some people with HIV would rather seek medical advice online or other means resulting in delay to treatment.” AIDS Concern encourages people with HIV to seek information and advises if needed, and not to hide their heads in the sand and miss the benefits of early treatment.
AIDS Concern Rapid 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, Hong Kong
Enquire & Booking Hotline : 2394 6677
AIDS Concern PLHIV Support Services
Website : www.poz.org.hk
PLHIV Support Services Hotline : 2898 4411