World AIDS Day, observed annually on December 1st and established by the World Health Organization in 1988, aims to raise public awareness towards HIV/AIDS knowledge. The global battle against HIV/AIDS has faced a considerable obstacle in the form of stigma attached to AIDS and HIV infection. This day provides a platform to express solidarity with the millions of individuals grappling with HIV globally. Many choose to participate by donning a red ribbon, symbolizing HIV awareness, while others opt to undergo HIV testing as a proactive step.
According to the Centre for Health Protection of Department of Health figures in 2022, Hong Kong reported more than 102 new cases in each quarter in average, meaning that about 1.12 persons get diagnosed each day. As of June 2023, it is reported that the cumulative number of HIV cases in Hong Kong had reached 11,830. In Hong Kong, the persistence of stigma poses a significant obstacle to HIV testing. While conventional tests involving blood drawn from a vein or rapid HIV antibody tests are available for individuals suspicious of their HIV status, the requirement for in-person testing dissuades some from participating, as they prefer to avoid direct interaction with testing staff. In response to this challenge, the Society for AIDS Care (SAC) has initiated an HIV self-testing program utilizing non-invasive oral swabs, with the aim of enhancing awareness about HIV testing. The advantage lies in the convenience of being able to perform the test in a private setting at any time.
With the support of MTR Corporation Limited, SAC HIV Self Testing Service promotional posters have been placed at MTR stations along the East, West, and Ma On Shan Lines, as well as on the Kwun Tong, Island, Tseung Kwan O, Tung Chung, and South Island Line, along with the Light Rail. This campaign, running from November 22 to December 7, 2023, is designed to inspire the public to participate in the SAC HIV self-testing service, aiming to achieve the goal of "early testing, early treatment."
December marks HIV/AIDS Awareness Month, and once again, we urge everyone in Hong Kong to demonstrate their support. Active participation is key to diminishing discrimination against People Living with HIV (PLHIV). By fostering an environment where PLHIV can seek proper help without fear, and feel better prepared to re-integrate back to the community. Furthermore, we advocate for everyone to undergo HIV testing and consider purchasing an OraQuick® oral fluid test kit along with 5 complimentary condoms! Take action now and get tested: Purchase Kit Here. Together we make a difference!.
Senior Fundraising & Communications Manager, Ms. Yan Lee
Telephone: 2559 2006 / Email: email@example.com