AIDS Concern actively seeks opportunities to communicate and collaborate with the government, community and other organizations to address the discrimination faced by people living with HIV (PLHIV) in Hong Kong and safeguard the rights of them.
1. Safeguarding the Legal Rights of the Sexual Minorities (LGBT)
To ensure the effectiveness of our prevention work and support service, we believe that it is important to safeguard the legal rights of the sexual minorities (LGBT) so that they would not be discriminated. Please click here to read our position paper on legal rights of sexual minorities.We also dedicate ourselves to demonstrations and activities related to LGBT rights like ‘Hong Kong Pride Parade’ and ‘Pink Dot Hong Kong’.
To improve the physical health of gay people, we are now launching the “Dr. Rainbow Scheme” (September 2015), to encourage doctors to receive more information about the health concerns of the gay community and join the "Gay-friendly Healthcare Training Workshop", in order to provide optimal care to them. If you would like to know more about the scheme or information on the health concerns of the gay community, please click here for the “Gay-friendly Healthcare Handbook” about the details of our scheme, tips on gay-friendly practices, and health concerns of gay people.
2. Promoting Positive Sexuality Education for Young People
According to the Department of Health, the number of teenagers aged 29 or below infected with HIV has risen sharply by 120% from 2011-2015, which shows a worrying trend that reflects the urgency to implement positive sexuality education in Hong Kong. However, the ‘Guideline on Sex Education in Secondary Schools’ has not been amended since 1997 and does not provide a clear and systematic guidance on sex education classes to cater to the needs of the teenagers.
To keep the HIV prevalence low in Hong Kong and create a supportive environment for the communities vulnerable to HIV/AIDS, we believe it is important to promote the importance of safe sex and the respect of people with different sexuality or sexual orientation to the youngsters.
Therefore, we urge the Education Bureau to provide clear guidelines on sexuality education in secondary schools to establish Positive Sexuality Education for young people. Click here to read our position paper on Positive Sexuality Education.
In view of the current severe sexual health condition of the teenagers, and the insufficiency of current sex education, we have developed an evidence-based teaching manual on positive sexuality education with Sticky Rice Love. With a one-year pilot scheme to evaluate the effectiveness of our curriculum, the teaching material has been proved to be effective in protecting the sexual health of the teenagers.
You may click here for our report to know more about the design and effectiveness of our positive sexuality education pilot scheme. You may also click here to download the teaching manual of positive sexuality education. (Both currently in Chinese only.)
The lesson plans used in the scheme (currently in Chinese only) are available below for teachers of senior secondary students to use:
3. Promoting Male Sexual Health
AIDS Concern will work to build the capacity of other people and organizations to develop male sexual health research projects, and prompt the government and the public to pay closer attention to male sexual health issues in Hong Kong.
4. Safeguarding the Rights of the People living with HIV
The discrimination faced by people living with HIV among the frontline medical professionals is very severe. Thus, we collaborated with the Chinese University of Hong Kong to conduct a ‘HIV Stigma Watch’ study, which is the first-ever research studying the stigma towards people living with HIV. The primary objective of the study is to investigate the effects of stigma on people living with HIV's physical and mental health, and to examine the factors associated to the stigma. Please click here to read the results of the study.
We believe the discrimination towards people living with HIV mainly stems from the medical staff’s misunderstanding of the routes of transmission and the people living with HIV. Therefore, we urge the government to enhance the training of the frontline medical staff. Apart from eliminating their misunderstanding towards the PLHIV, the training can also equip them with the skills of identifying the needs of the PLHIV so that they can provide early counselling to the PLHIV.
We also pay close attention to the situation of PLHIV being denied assess to private Residential Care Homes for Elderly. Please click here for our official response regarding this matter (Available in Chinese only). For the complete footage of the Long Term Care Policy Meeting in the Legislative Council, please click here.
5. Availability of PrEP and PEP medication in Hong Kong
PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) is the use of anti-HIV medications to prevent HIV before exposure to HIV.
PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis) is the use of anti-HIV medications to prevent HIV infections and after having just been exposed to HIV.
AIDS Concern supports combination strategy for HIV prevention – this means using a variety of different approaches. We support PrEP and PEP as effective additional measures alongside other HIV prevention tools. If administered correctly, we believe that these two medications could play an important role in reducing the HIV epidemic.
PrEP is not yet widely available in Hong Kong and PEP is available in limited circumstances. AIDS Concern is advocating for wider adoption of PEP and PrEP in the public health system.
For PrEP, successful local introduction of PrEP is contingent on a number of factors. AIDS Concern is advocating for demonstration projects in Hong Kong to begin prescribing PrEP to people a high risk and inform future implementation efforts. Please click here for our position on PrEP, and read more about the basic information on PrEP.
For PEP, a lot of the current prescribing is for occupational exposure (for example where hospital staff may have been exposed to HIV infected blood). The prescription of PEP for non-occupational exposure (nPEP) is still an ‘exceptional measure’ according to the guideline from the Centre for Health Protection (CHP), which should be considered only in the event of high-risk exposure to a source known to be HIV positive within 72 hours of exposure. The pre-requisite of needing to determine the HIV status of the source person is a serious hindrance to the prompt access to PEP for people who have experienced substantial HIV exposure. Therefore, AIDS Concern is advocating that tracing the source person should not be a barrier to prescribing PEP, and for the establishment of a clear risk assessment guideline to be followed thoroughly by healthcare providers to reduce confusion that occurs during administration of nPEP in public hospitals. Please click here for AIDS Concern’s position on PEP, and read more about the basic information on PEP.
Community evidence on PrEP and PEP
To understand more about the views of men who have sex with men (MSM) about PrEP and PEP, AIDS Concern conducted two community consultation sessions in October 2015. Read more about this from the report ‘Views of the MSM community on PrEP and PEP: A qualitative study’. (Note: Full report in English and summary report in Chinese)
The Research Study of “HIV Stigma Watch” The discrimination from frontline medical staff towards people living with HIV is very serious. For this, we collaborated with the Department of Psychology of the Chinese University of Hong Kong on the first-ever “HIV Stigma Watch” research in Hong Kong to study the effects of the stigma on the patients’ physical and mental health, and look into the factors relating to the stigma. Please refer to the Attachment for more about the results of the study.