(updated on 2013/06/10)
Data source: Hong Kong Department of Health
Map created by CUHK SpatioEpi Group
Highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART, or "cocktail therapy") is effective for improving immunity and reducing life-threatening complications in HIV infected individuals. Knowledge of one's HIV status is needed before treatment can be offered according to standard guidelines. HIV test is available not just at hospitals but also a range of community level services. In Hong Kong the latter includes Social Hygiene Clinics where sexually transmitted infections (STI) are diagnosed and treated, methadone clinics for heroin users (many of whom inject heroin), TB and Chest Clinics (TB is a common complications in HIV patient)…, Maternal and Child Health Centres (for pregnant women, who, if HIV diagnosed, can be offered antiretroviral drugs to prevent infection in newborns), and the many outreach community services run by non-governmental organizations (NGO). The distribution of these sites is shown in this map. Or, one may dial the AIDS Hotline 27802211 for an HIV testing and counseling appointment.
HIV infection 人類免疫力缺乏病毒感染
What is HIV/ AIDS? 什麼是人類免疫力缺乏病毒感染/愛滋病?
- The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a retrovirus that infects cells of the human immune system, destroying or impairing their function. In the early stages of infection, there is no symptom. As HIV infection progresses, the immune system becomes weaker, thereby increasing susceptibility to opportunistic infections.
- The most advanced stage of HIV infection is acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). In the absence of treatment, 50% of the infected individuals progress to AIDS. The use of antiretroviral drugs can reverse the immune deficiency.
- 愛滋病(後天免疫力缺乏症候群) 是人類免疫力缺乏病毒感染的後期嚴重階段。在沒有接受治療的情況下，平均一半感染者在十年內發病，成為愛滋病患者。抗病毒藥物治療可以有效恢復患者免疫能力。
How does HIV spread? 如何傳播？
- HIV is transmitted through unprotected sexual intercourse (heterosexuals and homosexuals), transfusion of contaminated blood or blood products, sharing of contaminated needles in injection drug users, and between a mother and her infant during pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding.
- HIV的傳播途徑包括不安全性接觸 (異性及同性) ，輸入受污染血液或血制品、靜脈吸毒者共用針筒、和母嬰傳播（懷孕、分娩、和哺乳期間）。
Vaccine? Prevention? 如何預防？
- A safe and effective vaccine is still under development. The practice of safer sex with the use of condom is one most effective means of preventing HIV infection through sex. Avoidance of needle sharing is important in injection drug users, whereas antiretroviral treatment can be effective in preventing mother-to-child HIV transmission.
- Methadone can be used as analgesic, cough suppressant and anti-addictive maintenance in people who are on opioids. Back in the 1970s, in order to reduce drug dependence amongst heroin users, the Hong Kong Government established methadone maintenance programme and opened clinics to provide methadone to heroin users. Oral methadone has longer action (24 to 36 hours) as compared to heroin (6 to 8 hours). Its action is to occupy the brain receptor sites affected by heroin, thereby blocking the effects as well as relieving the craving and withdrawal symptoms. Methadone maintenance reduces unsafe needle sharing and potentially reduces blood borne infections. Methadone maintenance is a form of harm reduction measure, as it potentially reduces criminal offences associated with drug addiction and leads heroin users back to a normal life.
Social Hygiene Service 社會衛生科
Operating under the Department of Health, there are currently 6 social hygiene clinics in Hong Kong, some further divided into male and female clinics.
The social hygiene service is responsible for the prevention and control of sexually transmitted infections. Its dermatology clinics also manage skin diseases and Hansen's disease.
The social hygiene service provides free medical check-up, treatment and counselling on sexually transmitted infections for citizens on a walk-in basis, without the need for doctor's referral.
What is Tuberculosis? 什麼是結核病？
- Tuberculosis, or TB, is a bacterial disease caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis, which most commonly affects the lungs.
- In healthy people, infection with Mycobacterium tuberculosis often causes no symptom, since the person’s immune system acts to “wall off” the bacteria. The symptoms of active TB of the lungs are cough, sometimes with sputum or blood, chest pain, general weakness, weight loss, fever and night sweats. Tuberculosis is normally treated with a six to nine-month course of antibiotics.
How does it spread? 如何傳播？
- TB is transmitted from person to person via droplets from the throat and lungs of people with the active respiratory infection.
- BCG, or bacillus Calmette-Guérin, is a vaccine for tuberculosis disease. In Hong Kong, all the new born babies receive BCG vaccine as a part of the childhood immunisation programme. Vaccination does not guarantee protection.