Foreword (Dr KH Wong)
The advent of the HIV epidemic was as humbling as it was devastating to all of us. It was also sobering, making us rethink the very approach to infection control, treatment paradigms, health care coverage and, above all, effective control of this global epidemic.
That effective HIV treatment will prevent transmission underpins the new paradigm of test-and-treat, bolstered by strong scientific evidence gradually unfolded that clinical benefit as well as prevention benefit results from early antiretroviral treatment. We are all aware that the World Health Organization has advocated that, by 2020, 90% of all those diagnosed with HIV should be put on antiretroviral therapy. And at least 90% of those on treatment shall achieve viral suppression.
To that end, it is essential that the standard of HIV care be well defined and practised by all front-line health care providers. Treatment should be highly effective, bringing benefit to all patients alike with harm reduced to a minimum as possible. Despite all the advances of antiretroviral therapy, complications of HIV still occur, mostly in patients not benefiting from early enough treatment or with conditions unamenable to HIV antivirals. As such, it is important that a handy reference be made available for the best and most up-to-date management.
The HIV Manual perfectly fills this role. First published in 2001, this is now the fourth iteration of an authoritative reference jointly written by local experts in the field. Its previous edition, released in 2013, has been extensively viewed on line by readers both locally and from overseas. Over 10 000 downloads have been recorded for its related mobile apps. Indeed, I am impressed by its coverage which spans from basic virology, HIV testing, to antiretroviral treatment and management of most HIV related complications and issues. It is highly relevant to local practice, touching on topical issues that could not be found in overseas resource material.
I congratulate the editor and all those involved on this work. This medical reference may ostensibly serve the health care provider, but it ultimately benefits the patients, those at risk of HIV, and society at large by contributing to the prevention of HIV infection.
Dr Ka Hing WONG
Controller, Centre for Health Protection
Department of Health