About Us


The Society for AIDS Care, established in November 1994, is a community-based and non-profit making charitable organization. It is the first non-governmental organization in Asia providing high quality direct patient care services to children, adults and elderly people living with  HIV/AIDS (PLHIV) and their care-givers. Our professional service team consists of nurses, social workers, counselors and physiotherapists. We provide both outreach services and center-based services on care and prevention of HIV/AIDS, including drug supervision, therapeutic counseling, psychological support, physiotherapy, physical training, peers support, public education and volunteers training. We are committed to providing professional care services to PLHIV to strengthen their self-care ability, build up their self-confidence and vision of positive living, so as to facilitate full community reintegration.

History

In 1996, the government leased the Tai Po Lookout to SAC. We launched the Lookout Residential Care Centre to provide hospice care for our members. The service was first operated in June 1997 and was successfully transformed to a center based rehabilitation center in Kowloon after the closure of the hospice service on 1 June 2000.

The Lookout functioned as a 24-hour residential medical center that offered day care as well as in-patient service, particularly for terminal patients. It was recognized as Asia’s first and only 24-hour residential medical care center at that time. Facilities were also set up for patients’ families to stay overnight when they needed to. On top of these, the Lookout was a center for physiotherapy and counseling to help patient maintain good physical and psychological health. An integration of services was provided by a team of specifically trained doctors, nurses and social workers in palliative care. It was closely associated with other Hong Kong SAR medical bodies such as the Department of Health AIDS Unit and Queen Elizabeth Hospital Special Medical Unit to provide more comprehensive care to patients. In addition, the Lookout provided educational and experimental training for medical personnel in AIDS care.

Most of the patients admitted when the Lookout first operated were kicked out by their families, who could not tolerate the notion of living under the same roof with relatives contracted with HIV. They had low chance of survival unless they had a high insurance premium or were able to afford treatment overseas. Two of the seventy-three patients died during their stay at the Lookout. The bungalow served as a quiet sanctuary for these patients.

With the advancement of AIDS treatment, demand for hospice service for AIDS care declined drastically with the emergence of antiretroviral drugs, which profoundly lengthen the life span of AIDS patients. Taking a combination of several drugs, patients are expected to live as long as they remain on medication. The plan for expansion was eventually abandoned as dedicated hospice facilities were no longer widely needed as before. Access to medical care in public hospitals was much easier. Thereon, the Lookout put its focus on nursing care and counseling instead of medical services. It served as a “mid-way home” for patients to rebuild self-esteem and helped them integrate into the community by providing space and time for them to organize themselves.

Funding for the Lookout ceased in the third year of the Project on the grounds that the Project performed overlapping functions as other hospice services provided by public hospitals. The SAC could not find sufficient financial support for running the Lookout. Moreover, resorting to life in a remote part of the New Territories was unnecessary as AIDS patients under cocktail therapy were able to lead to a more or less normal life at home. Falling short of demand, together with the drying up of funds, prompted the SAC’s decision to put an end to the Project in February 2000. The last two patients at the Lookout were transferred to other medical centers and marked the official closure of the Lookout at the end of May 2000. Although the Lookout Project did not last long, it was a pioneering experiment to introduce hospice service into the existing medical system. It brought insights to other health projects as in the importance of considering medical development and patients’ needs.

MISSION

We are committed to provide professional care service to the PLHIV to strengthen their self-care ability, build up their self-confidence and vision of positive living, so as to facilitate their full community reintegration.

OBJECTIVE

To advocate for PLHIV on their rights to have quality of life and rights to be respected.
To collaborate with and to empower partners including community groups or individuals to develop integrated sustainable HIV/AIDS programs on care and prevention.
To provide resources and support for partners in implementing HIV/AIDS programs on care and prevention.

Milestones

  • 1994

    The Society for AIDS Care was established

  • 1995

    The Home Care Service commenced by a group of professional nurses

  • 1996


    The government leased the Tai Po Lookout to SAC

  • 1997

    Provision of hospice care service to the terminally ill patients at Lookout Residential Care Centre

  • 1999

    Rehabilitation Service has commenced since 1999 to improve or maintain PLHIV’s physical abilities and enabling them to develop a better quality of life and a better preparation for community re-integration

  • 2000

    Closure of Lookout and transformed our center based rehabilitation center in Kowloon

  • The Society for AIDS Care was established

  • The Home Care Service commenced by a group of professional nurses



  • The government leased the Tai Po Lookout to SAC

  • Provision of hospice care service to the terminally ill patients at Lookout Residential Care Centre

  • Rehabilitation Service has commenced since 1999 to improve or maintain PLHIV’s physical abilities and enabling them to develop a better quality of life and a better preparation for community re-integration

  • Closure of Lookout and transformed our center based rehabilitation center in Kowloon

  • 2001

    Implemented “Mother-to-Child Transmission Prevention Program”, the only charitable organization to provide this service in Hong Kong.

  • 2003

    Moved the Day Centre to Mongkok which is a safe and cozy place where the PLHIV could feel free to visit, use the facilities and join the therapeutic programs.

  • 2004

    Set up Community Fundraising Team and help to promote community acceptance and AIDS related information & education in the community

  • 2006

    • Launched the Home Base Counseling Service
    • Launched HK-China AIDS Training Program

  • 2008

    Set-up Food Bank at Day Centre

  • 2010

    Launched a new school program “HEY!” (HIV/AIDS Education for Youth) for teenagers

  • Implemented “Mother-to-Child Transmission Prevention Program”, the only charitable organization to provide this service in Hong Kong.

  • Moved the Day Centre to Mongkok which is a safe and cozy place where the PLHIV could feel free to visit, use the facilities and join the therapeutic programs.

  • Set up Community Fundraising Team and help to promote community acceptance and AIDS related information & education in the community

    • Launched the Home Base Counseling Service
    • Launched HK-China AIDS Training Program
  • Set-up Food Bank at Day Centre

  • Launched a new school program “HEY!” (HIV/AIDS Education for Youth) for teenagers

  • 2011

    Dr. Andrew Yuen and Ms. Caroline Wong joined SAC as Board Directors Through our Mother-to Child Transmission Intervention Program, there were six babies born HIV free in that year. Took part in the “F2F Monthly Giving Alliance” with 19 local organizations to increase transparency of street face-to-face fund raising activity. All projects submitted for Lee Ka Shing Foundation “Love Ideas HK Programme” were successfully funded in which “Love@Nutritional Meals” was awarded by Mr. Lee Ka Shing personally for an extra double grant. Collaborated the Social Work Students Placement Training Program with School of Public Affairs, Henan Normal University.

  • 2012

    Since 2001, SAC experienced a 100% success rate in terms of prevention with a total of 30 babies born free of HIV today. To commemorate World AIDS Day, SAC invited over 6,000 people from different sectors of the community to take photo with the message “We do not discriminate against people living with HIV/AIDS” on a red ribbon to show their support.

  • 2013

    Granted free air time for our newly produced TV commercial from the Government Announcements in the Public Interest this year. With “invisible masks” as the theme, it aims to arouse public awareness on HIV transmission and to promote the acceptance of PLHIV. Produced a radio program through the Community Involvement Broadcasting Program of Radio Television Hong Kong introducing AIDS facts and developments to alleviate common misconceptions and misunderstanding. Kicked off the “Giving Love Campaign” in which a year round “Milk Milk Saving Bank” promotion campaign was launched for public to donate their spare changes and show their acceptance and support to people living with HIV/AIDS. Media interviews were conducted at the Day Center including newspaper coverage of a HIV positive mother who gave birth to a HIV free baby and a single father who takes care of his HIV positive son solely for 20 years. The touching stories attracted a lot of positive comments. A NowTV medical documentary covering the late stage of AIDS patients to provide public with better understanding of HIV care service in Hong Kong and the importance of maintaining good health through our holistic care model for our patients. We hoped the Government would expand more resources funding for the direct patient services. Organized school talks on HIV/AIDS to raise students’ concern and awareness

    • Dr. Andrew Yuen and Ms. Caroline Wong joined SAC as Board Directors
    • Through our Mother-to Child Transmission Intervention Program, there were six babies born HIV free in that year.
    • Took part in the “F2F Monthly Giving Alliance” with 19 local organizations to increase transparency of street face-to-face fund raising activity.
    • All projects submitted for Lee Ka Shing Foundation “Love Ideas HK Programme” were successfully funded in which “Love@Nutritional Meals” was awarded by Mr. Lee Ka Shing personally for an extra double grant.
    • Collaborated the Social Work Students Placement Training Program with School of Public Affairs, Henan Normal University
    • Since 2001, SAC experienced a 100% success rate in terms of prevention with a total of 30 babies born free of HIV today.
    • To commemorate World AIDS Day, SAC invited over 6,000 people from different sectors of the community to take photo with the message “We do not discriminate against people living with HIV/AIDS” on a red ribbon to show their support.
    • Granted free air time for our newly produced TV commercial from the Government Announcements in the Public Interest this year. With “invisible masks” as the theme, it aims to arouse public awareness on HIV transmission and to promote the acceptance of PLWHA.
    • Produced a radio program through the Community Involvement Broadcasting Program of Radio Television Hong Kong introducing AIDS facts and developments to alleviate common misconceptions and misunderstanding.
    • Kicked off the “Giving Love Campaign” in which a year round “Milk Milk Saving Bank” promotion campaign was launched for public to donate their spare changes and show their acceptance and support to people living with HIV/AIDS.
    • Media interviews were conducted at the Day Center including newspaper coverage of a HIV positive mother who gave birth to a HIV free baby and a single father who takes care of his HIV positive son solely for 20 years. The touching stories attracted a lot of positive comments.
    • A NowTV medical documentary covering the late stage of AIDS patients to provide public with better understanding of HIV care service in Hong Kong and the importance of maintaining good health through our holistic care model for our patients. We hoped the Government would expand more resources funding for the direct patient services.
    • Organized school talks on HIV/AIDS to raise students’ concern and awareness
  • 2014

    20th Anniversary of The Society for AIDS Care M.A.C AIDS Fund donated HK$500,000 to support activities of World AIDS Day 2014 Assisted 32 HIV positive mothers to give birth to HIV free babies and maintained 100% success rate Launched the Bread Sharing Program with Foodlink A new mainland-based AIDS children program was launched in collaboration with the Guangxi Center for Disease Prevention and Control. The center mainly takes care of children with AIDS.

  • 2015

    Held the first “Superhero Run” at the Kai Tak Cruise Terminal Launched the “Red! Yellow! Green! We Grow! Adolescent-oriented Life Skill Education Program for local secondary school students A new program “Male Sexual Health” has been initiated which aim at enhancing awareness on safer sex and cultivate friendly sexual health environment for men having sex with men community. PLHIV Health Survey Press Conference was held to explain the consequences of delayed treatment and an AIDS patient was present to share his painful story of permanent disability due to delayed treatment. Launched the China-HK AIDS Professional Exchange Program Launched the Guangxi Family Trip

  • 2016

    The New Women Phone-in Hotline and Free HIV Testing Service was established. Enquiries are handled by our registered nurses and social workers. Joined the first Asia Pacific AIDS & Co-infections Conference 2016 as supporting organization held in Hong Kong

  • 2017

    • Ms. Clara Ingen-Housz and Mr. Marcel Thoma joined SAC as Board Directors
    • Joined the second Asia Pacific AIDS & Co-infections Conference 2017 in Hong Kong as supporting organization again
    • Launched the donation appeal video for the Sunflower Orphan Centre in Cambodia
    • Launched the newly designed website

    • 20th Anniversary of The Society for AIDS Care
    • M.A.C AIDS Fund donated HK$500,000 to support activities of World AIDS Day 2014
    • Assisted 32 HIV positive mothers to give birth to HIV free babies and maintained 100% success rate
    • Launched the Bread Sharing Program with Foodlink
    • A new mainland-based AIDS children program was launched in collaboration with the Guangxi Center for Disease Prevention and Control. The center mainly takes care of children with AIDS.
    • Held the first “Superhero Run” at the Kai Tak Cruise Terminal
    • Launched the “Red! Yellow! Green! We Grow! Adolescent-oriented Life Skill Education Program for local secondary school students
    • A new program “Male Sexual Health” has been initiated which aim at enhancing awareness on safer sex and cultivate friendly sexual health environment for men having sex with men community.
    • PLHIV Health Survey Press Conference was held to explain the consequences of delayed treatment and an AIDS patient was present to share his painful story of permanent disability due to delayed treatment.
    • Launched the China-HK AIDS Professional Exchange Program
    • Launched the Guangxi Family Trip
    • The New Women Phone-in Hotline and Free HIV Testing Service was established. Enquiries are handled by our registered nurses and social workers.
    • Joined the first Asia Pacific AIDS & Co-infections Conference 2016 as supporting organization held in Hong Kong
    • Ms. Clara Ingen-Housz and Mr. Marcel Thoma joined SAC as Board Directors
    • Joined the second Asia Pacific AIDS & Co-infections Conference 2017 in Hong Kong as supporting organization again
    • Launched the donation appeal video for the Sunflower Orphan Centre in Cambodia
    • Launched the newly designed website

Message from CEO

In 1994, the UNAIDS set the 90-90-90 target to increase the ability to combat HIV globally and established goals for different countries to follow and map out their testing, treatment and prevention strategies. The target aiming at having 90% of people living with HIV diagnosed by 2020, 90% of them are diagnosed received antiretroviral therapy (ART) by 2020 and as well as 90% of them on ART with an undetectable viral load by 2020. It is encouraging to see at the 9th International AIDS Society Conference on HIV Science (IAS 2017) opened in Paris this July with the excellent news that the world is on track to meeting targets for HIV treatment. It was anticipated by 2020, more than half of people living with HIV have now access to ART, and AIDS-related deaths have fallen by half since 2005. If all these targets are met, AIDS-related deaths will be cut dramatically and the rate of new HIV infections will fall.

In Hong Kong a total of 692 additional cases of HIV infection were reported at end 2016 bringing the cumulative total of 8,410 cases of HIV infections since 1984. Accordingly to report from the Center for Health Protection, sexual contact remained the major route of transmission. In response of the increases in number and better treatment opportunities, more cases were referred for our care last year. Increased number in young men who have sex with men (MSM) rehabilitation cases and elderly cases for medication supervision and emotional counseling were received. Regrettably, some cases referred were for end of life preparations and bereavement counseling for their care givers. The 24-hour emergency hotline service administrated by our specialized HIV nurses has been very helpful for the newly diagnosed and critical ill. Besides, our professional team including social workers; physiotherapist and counselors are working continuously to bring improvements in patient’s overall abilities. In response to the 90-90-90 global target, we are pleased to report patients under medication supervision care last year have successfully ensuring 90% non-detectable viral load, this helps their health improvement and lower chance of further HIV transmission.

To promote more testing opportunities for women, we continue to provide our unique women phone in and testing program handles by experienced HIV nurse. At the same time, more media promotions coverage was placed last year to provide awareness aiming to promote early testing and early treatment. It is very important that early diagnosis is established so that treatment could be provided to extending life expectancy and curbing the epidemic.

In terms of youth education, our team has been very active in education road shows and school education. Our mask design contest for school and public with the theme of ‘Say no to discrimination’ were very well attended last year. More than 2000 entries were received from secondary school students and public. Many students actively took part in our annual AIDS walk cum mask display and contest award ceremony held at the Peak.
 

To continue providing support and skill transfer to less developed Countries in HIV care and prevention, our team has travelled to Phnom Penh, Cambodia, earlier in the year and exchanged with three local organizations that provide direct HIV care for positive children and orphans. It is our intention that we will establish more future empowerment exchanges so that some of our volunteers will be able to participant in the helping program in a long run.

The second Asia Pacific Conference on AIDS and Co-infections was held from 1 to 3 June 2017 at Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. We are honored to be one of their supporting organizations for the second year. The conference was well attended by global academics, researchers and professionals. A SAC booth was set up to introduce our services.

We have started our new media campaign displaying street banners across different districts in Hong Kong from September to October to introduce our service and promote HIV acceptance for the public. At the same time, a new look in our webpage was launched from August onwards aiming to provide a more responsive platform for the public.

The World AIDS Day Memorial Ceremony was held at Park Lane Shopper’s Boulevard, Tsim Sha Tsui. We are honored to have Professor Sophia Chan Siu-chee, JP, Secretary for Food and Health and renowned artist Miss Lisa Ch’ng, SAC Ambassador to officiate the ceremony. Different activities such as HIV/AIDS knowledge Q&A game, red ribbon DIY booth, hand painting, and exhibition were organized. Jumbo Pig, the author of “Funny Clinic”, created a specially designed collection aiming to promote HIV/AIDS awareness went on sales that day too.

In terms of funding support for our programs, we are very thankful for our monthly donors, and corporates that devote their time and efforts in helping us. All of the good work cannot be achieved without their generosity. We look forward to bringing even more positive changes in the HIV/AIDS community in our coming years.


 




Alice Chan
Chief Executive Officer
Oct 2017

 

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