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HK pushes HIV/AIDS prevention in gay men

HIV/AIDS prevention among homosexual men has been accorded high priority in a five-year strategy to fight the illness in Hong Kong from 2007 to 2011, York Chow, Hong Kong secretary for Food and Health, said yesterday.

Speaking at a seminar, he said HIV cases among men who have sex with men have been rising rapidly in recent years. It was how the disease spread in about 30 percent of 300 to 400 reported HIV cases each year.

"Unprotected sex is an important factor and most of them do not know their own HIV status.

"Globally, risks and vulnerability to HIV infections are reinforced by a lack of knowledge, denial, inadequate access to treatment as well as social pressure arising from discrimination and even criminalization of sex among men," he said.

The Hong Kong government has always adopted a multi-pronged approach in the prevention and control of HIV or AIDS, including surveillance and prevention, as well as treatment and care of people living with HIV.

"We also set up an AIDS Trust Fund with HK$350 million (US$45.2 million) dedicated to funding various education projects, as well as patient support services."


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