Hong Kong Fights HIV Taboo

HIV/AIDS is still a taboo subject in Hong Kong, and much of East Asia, where stigma and misconceptions about the disease slow efforts to diagnose and treat patients—and prevent the spread of the virus.

As a result, despite the global decline in AIDS-related illnesses, they are rising across Asia. At least 1/2 of Hong Kong’s AIDS patients are already at advanced stages by the time they’re diagnosed, indicating that testing is low overall, according to health officials there. Last year, new cases in Hong Kong rose to a record 651, which could partly be explained by efforts to improve testing.

Treat Asia, a collaborative network of clinics, hospitals, research institutions and civil society groups, is pushing to improve treatment and testing options, while fighting discrimination and stigma in the region.

South China Morning Post

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