The fourth Asia Pacific conference On AIDS and Co-infections will be held from 27 to 29 June. The conference aims to promote dissemination and successful translation of new knowledge regarding HIV and co-infections while facilitating a neutral, scientific knowledge exchange. We are honored to be one of their supporting organizations for the fourth consecutive year. Members of SAC can enjoy a 25% discount on registration fees.
Recommended HIV/AIDS Strategies for Hong Kong (2017-2021) has included male to female transgender people (TG) in the key population for further strengthening in HIV/AIDS prevention. At present, there is still a shortage of local HIV/AIDS prevention and support services for TG and HIV testing rate among TG is still low. Therefore, further promotion of HIV/AIDS education to this population is necessary. The Society for AIDS Care and the Transgender Resource Center have started a joint pilot project on HIV/AIDS prevention and testing support service for TG in March this year to promote preventive education on HIV/AIDS and sexual transmitted infection (STI) for TG and their sex partners through online outreach and workshops. Free HIV antibody and syphilis testing service is also provided to encourage them to conduct regular tests. Through this joint project, we hope their awareness on HIV/AIDS and STI prevention can be enhanced. Furthermore, the testing service can identify infected people as soon as possible and link for treatment to achieve the goal “Treatment as Prevention”.
The Society for AIDS Care Hong Kong has joined with over 800 other leading researchers and organizations from nearly 100 countries to declare HIV undetectable is untransmittable. Through supporting Undetectable = Untransmittable (U = U) campaign, we would like to appeal for all sectors of the public to be aware that people living with HIV/AIDS should seek proper treatment without fear of discrimination or being turned away due to their HIV status as the virus will affect all walks of life.
With the advancement in the treatment for HIV, the life expectancy of people living with HIV (PLHIV) has been prolonged and the number of aging PLHIV is also rising. Separation and death are inevitable in our lives. PLHIV are often unable to seek assistance from social resources because of their personal infection status and fear of being discriminated in the community. In particular, they or their care-givers will have difficulties and worries in funeral arrangement related to the issue of infectious condition. As sponsored by Apple Daily Charitable Foundation, ‘From Death to Life – Life Ambassador Project’ has been organized with a series talks, workshops and visits for our members to learn more about hospice and funeral services, preparing their own plans as well as consolidating the importance and good moments in their lives. The project was launched in January 2019. We were very honored to have Mr Lok Chung, the in charge of Peace of Mind Funeral Services, to introduce the culture and service of funeral arrangement in the first talk. Mr. Chung shared information on funeral rituals related to Chinese culture, funeral arrangement and green funeral service. Members were very enthusiastic about asking questions, sharing their experience and feelings related to death of relatives and friends, and their expectation on their own funeral arrangement.
Spring comes, slightly cool and warm, it is a good day to reunite with friends. SAC Center also filled with joyful atmosphere. More than 20 members gathered together for celebrating the joy with members born between January and March. They participated in games, shared snacks and chit chat happily for a wonderful weekend.
Studies have shown that mindfulness can help people to relax and improve sleep quality. It can also help reduce negative emotions, anxiety and symptoms of depression. People living with HIV are often prone to anxiety and depression because of worrying their own physical condition and fear of being discriminated by society. On 23 February, SAC Centre organized a workshop introducing mindfulness and practising the techniques together. In the workshop, through breathing practice, members learnt to observe the changes in the body, emotions and thoughts at that moment and experience the benefits of mindfulness. Now, SAC Centre conducts a mindfulness learning group every week for members to participate in various exercises and sharing experiences, so as to cultivate the habit of continuous practicing mindfulness and integrate it into life.