Foreword (Prof Francis Chan)
I am most delighted to see the publication of a new edition of Hong Kong HIV Manual. Since HIV becomes a known global health threat in the 1980s, incredible progress in prevention and in developing more affordable treatment has been made, having saved the world from an AIDS pandemic. In 2016, the United Nation issued a Political Declaration with an agenda to accelerate efforts to end AIDS by 2030. These efforts include preventing the spread of HIV, arresting AIDS deaths, and ensuring babies born and raised completely free from HIV infection.
While the world celebrates remarkable achievements in halting the HIV epidemic, in any battle against infectious diseases, there is no place for complacency. At the 22nd International AIDS Conference held in July 2018, it was noted that deaths from HIV are beginning to rise after a period of flatlining. This has cast a shadow over the optimist mood to end AIDS by 2030. Some reasons put forward included declining funding and donations after the global financial tsunami in 2008, diversion of funding to other health threats, failed healthcare systems in countries ravaged by wars and upheavals, and the rise of drug resistant virus strains. Sounding an alarm bell for the possibility of an AIDS pandemic may be seen as crying wolf. However, this is a wake-up call for response. To avoid consequences of complacency, we have to harness the same level of energy, passion and resources that had been put in to confront AIDS on every front in order to protect our gains.
Hong Kong, being one of the most vibrant, cosmopolitan and densely populated cities in Asia, has won many wars against infectious diseases through concerted efforts and unwavering commitments of a society. This HIV manual in Hong Kong context signifies part of our continuous efforts to contribute to the control of infectious diseases, which ignore national borders and sovereignty. This manual with its ease of access via the internet and the apps version, provides useful and comprehensive information for medical and healthcare professionals and for those interested in further their understanding of this disease and treatment.
All contributors to this manual, inclusive of patients, the government and funding agencies, are to be commended for their dedication to the goal of eventual eradication of HIV.
This updated HIV manual is no doubt a valuable resource, adding to a repertoire of global endeavours to build healthier and safer societies.
Professor Francis K L Chan
Dean, Faculty of Medicine
The Chinese University of Hong Kong