The is the fourth edition of our HIV Manual. The “Manual” began as a thin booklet titled “Information on AIDS for Doctors and Dentists” in 1987, published by the then Medical and Health Services Department of the Hong Kong Government. This predecessor of the HIV Manual was updated in 1992 and again in 1995. Those were the years when HIV management was characterised by intensive professional counseling and psychosocial support without any room for therapeutics. With the introduction of combination antiretroviral treatment (referred as highly active antiretroviral therapy or HAART in this Manual), HIV management has become increasingly sophisticated. The HIV Manual was reborn in 2001 as a publication authored solely by the Department of Health’s HIV Team (referred as Special Preventive Programme). The revised editions, released in 2007 and 2013, has involved the contribution of multiple authors who’re directly involved in HIV care, and the prevention and control of HIV/AIDS in Hong Kong. The 2013 version was named HIV Manual 3rd Edition.

Like the previous edition, HIV Manual 4th edition has involved authors from The Chinese University of Hong Kong, The University of Hong Kong, Department of Health’s Integrated Treatment Centre and three HIV services of the Hospital Authority – Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Princess Margaret Hospital, and Prince of Wales Hospital. Other contributors came from Department of Health’s Centre for Health Protection – Social Hygiene Service, Tuberculosis and Chest Service – and Methadone Clinics Following a massive growth in size of the Manual 2007, the current Manual has chosen to be smaller, and hopefully, more user-friendly, by its appearance in three formats: web version, Apps (Android and iPhone), and the conventional hard copy. The chapters are grouped under 6 sections – basics of HIV medicine, public health management, clinical management, opportunistic and concurrent infections, neoplasia, special settings & the community. Algorithms continue to be a key component in most chapters. The references are limited to essential ones, and linkage to their sources can be effectively made if readers use the web or Apps for accessing the contents. All updated local guidelines on HIV management as well as the HIV/AIDS Report Form can be found in the Appendix.

It has been, and continues to be, a privilege for me to be directly involved in the production of the Manual, ever since the preparation of the “Information on AIDS for Doctors and Dentists” back in 1992. It is rewarding to be in the company of a professional community behind the Manual, which is devoted to improving HIV care and control in Hong Kong. In this era of information explosion, some may argue that there is no lack of treatment guidance from bookshops or the internet. So is there a specific role for a local manual? My answer remains the same as that stated in the Preface for HIV Manual 2007: In designing this Manual, we are hoping to bring a local perspective to HIV management. Optimisation of HIV management cannot be grafted from literature, but needs to be field-based. This Manual aims therefore to provide a thoughtful assimilation of lessons for practitioners in Hong Kong, and beyond. In achieving this aim, we owe it all to over 30 field practitioners who have functioned also as reviewers and authors, to have the subjects updated for our easy reference. I am sure that this Manual is of use also to students in medicine, nursing, public health and other health care disciplines.

Shui Shan LEE
Stanley Ho Centre for Emerging Infectious Diseases
The Chinese University of Hong Kong

Summer 2019