The SAC physiotherapy service has been commenced since year 1999. We target on providing rehabilitative services to people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) and their carers according to their physical problems and clinical presentations. Immediate and appropriate physiotherapy services can help those PLWHA to maintain their mobility and decrease the occurrence of irresistible physical damage. To have better quality of life, better physical ability is one of the key elements to be equipped. Better physical mobility enables them to live in a more independent way; better integration to the community can be made.
PLWHA usually complicate with various physical problems which may be caused by their immunodeficiency and toxicity of the therapy (Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy, HAART) they received.
Peripheral neuropathy is one of the commonest diseases that may occur in this population. PLWHA who suffered from peripheral neuropathy may manifest different degree of sensory and motor deficits. Sensory deficits include hypersensitivity, absence of jerks, allodynia and paraesthesia, while motor deficits involve muscle weakness and atrophy as well as joint stiffness. Poor balance and gait problem would be shown subsequently. Besides, other systemic diseases, which maybe induced by HAART or
related to HIV, like weaken lung function, lipodystrophy, high blood cholesterol and blood sugar levels, are generally confronted by PLWHA where the symptoms may not be shown up instantly. Last but not least, conditions such as osteonecrosis, various arthritis and tendinitis are also frequently reported by the PLWHA. It implies that there is a strong need of physiotherapy interventions among our clients to help them alleviate those disabilities and impairments. The SAC physiotherapy service operates with a referral basis. SAC receives physiotherapy referrals from public hospitals and private general practitioners, as well as from the three HIV clinics in Hong Kong. Once a client was referred, the physiotherapist would then determine whether home-based or centre-based physiotherapy interventions should be arranged. A tailored treatment plan and goal would be set for each client during the initial physical examination. SAC maintains good communications between SAC physiotherapy service and clinicians. Thus, progress reports would be provided to the corresponding HIV clinics after the client received our physiotherapy treatments. Physiotherapy treatments in SAC centre
There are different training apparatuses and electrical modalities in SAC centre, it allows more varieties and choices when having physiotherapy treatments. The decision of modalities use depends on the service recipient’s need and condition. Individual care plan and intervention will be reviewed and updated frequently so as to maximize their recovery.
A designated objective is assigned to each group, like core strengthening and cardiovascular training. The participants enjoy the time as all the groups are fun and energetic, they encourage each other during exercise, enabling good supportive relationships. A series of therapeutic groups were held this year on both regular and irregular basis.