Date
23 March 2017
Lighted candles honor AIDS victims. Delayed treatment could increase the chances of a full-blown HIV infection and result in a serious chronic condition. Photo: Reuters
Lighted candles honor AIDS victims. Delayed treatment could increase the chances of a full-blown HIV infection and result in a serious chronic condition. Photo: Reuters

Only 12% of potential HIV cases undergo voluntary testing

Hong Kong has a spotty record of voluntary HIV testing and most of those who undergo the procedure do so at the urging of their doctors, according to a survey.

It found that only 12 percent of people who think they have contracted the virus submit to voluntary testing, Ming Pao Daily reported Tuesday.

About 73 percent agree to any kind of HIV testing only after being prodded by a doctor, the report said.

The survey was conducted by the Society for AIDS Care (SAC) which interviewed 162 HIV patients earlier this year.

About 15 percent of the respondents underwent HIV testing when their spouse or a family member was diagnosed with HIV.

SAC chief executive director Alice Chan said delayed treatment could increase the chances of a full-blow infection or result in a serious chronic condition.

With recent advances in science and medicine, HIV is 99 percent treatable in four to eight weeks, said Dr. Owen Tsang of the Hong Kong Society for Infectious Diseases.

SAC called for an “opt out” testing under which HIV will be included in routine health checks. Patients can choose not to take it.

– Contact us at english@hkej.com

KZ/AC/RA

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