Traditional Chinese Simplified Chinese Email this article
Concerted efforts to curb the spread of AIDS (with photo)

     The Secretary for Food and Health, Dr Ko Wing-man, said today (September 20) that the Government will continue its close co-operation with the medical sector and the community at large to prevent and control the spread of AIDS.

     Officiating at the ceremony to mark the 15th anniversary of the Department of Health's Red Ribbon Centre (RRC) today, Dr Ko said, "The HIV prevalence remains low in Hong Kong when compared with elsewhere in Asia. To curb the epidemic in an effective manner, various measures have been launched in the territory, including the Preventing Mother-to-child Transmission programme, the Methadone Treatment Programme and the community-based responses to the HIV epidemic among men who have sex with men (MSM), all of which have won international acclaim.

     "In view of a rising trend in HIV prevalence among the MSM community, preventive and control measures for MSM have been expanded in Hong Kong. In fact, the Council for the AIDS Trust Fund had also swiftly expanded the scale of the measures through special funding programmes."

     Apart from its endeavours in AIDS prevention, the Government is also committed to ensuring a timely treatment service for HIV-infected persons. The Government is actively promoting provider-initiated HIV antibody testing services and assisting AIDS service organisations to provide voluntary testing and counselling services free of charge. Co-operation among Hong Kong, the Mainland and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) is also fostered through various preventive programmes with a view to alleviating the impact of the mobile population on the local epidemic.

     Also officiating at the ceremony, the Director of Health, Dr Constance Chan, said, "As at late June this year, the cumulative total of HIV infections reached 5,523. Four hundred and thirty-eight new cases of HIV infection were reported in 2011, representing a 12.6 per cent rise when compared with 2010. The record high number of cases has indicated that HIV/AIDS is still a major threat to public health.

     "The Hong Kong Advisory Council on AIDS (ACA) has just launched in 2012 its blueprint for AIDS strategies for the next five years. The department will commit support for the new recommendations as usual and mobilise various sectors of the community to implement major preventive programmes, maintain a quality treatment and health-care service and monitor the progress of various strategic indicators," she stressed.

     Other officiating guests included the wife of the Chief Executive and Patron of the RRC, Mrs Regina Leung; the Controller of the Centre for Health Protection, Dr Thomas Tsang; the Chairman of the Management Advisory Committee of the RRC, Dr Richard Tan; the Chairperson of the ACA, Dr Susan Fan; and the Chairman of the Council for the AIDS Trust Fund, Dr Matthew Ng.

     The RRC is an HIV/AIDS education, resource and research centre. It was formally established by the Department of Health in 1997 under the sponsorship of the AIDS Trust Fund, and has been designated as UNAIDS Collaborating Centre (Technical Support) since 1998. The mission of the RRC is to facilitate and enhance the community's response to HIV/AIDS.

Ends/Thursday, September 20, 2012
Issued at HKT 16:00


Print this page