New API calls for care of people with HIV/AIDS

HK Centre for Health Protection, HK Department of Health
Press Release: Virtual AIDS Office April 08th, 2005
Starting from tomorrow (April 9), basketball superstars Magic Johnson and Yao Ming will appear in a new government promotional short film to call for public acceptance of people with HIV/AIDS.
A spokesman of the Department of Health (DH) said the Announcement in Public Interest (API) is a local version of a promotional film on AIDS care produced by China AIDS Media Project and National Basketball Association (NBA) in 2004.
The original film, which has been broadcast in the mainland TV channels, was well received by local audience.
In the 30-second API, Magic Johnson, a retired basketball superstar who has been living with HIV since 1991, appeals to the public that HIV is not transmitted through daily social contact including hugging, shaking hands or eating together.
''It is the second API in the two decades of the HIV epidemic in Hong Kong featuring an AIDS infected person,'' the spokesman said.
''Another basketball superstar Yao Ming also makes an appeal – No fear! No discrimination! Show your care to people living with HIV/AIDS! – in the footage,'' he added.
The API will also be uploaded to the AIDS website (www.aids.gov.hk) tomorrow.
The spokesman reiterated that people infected with HIV could lead a normal life as the disease can now be controlled by effective cocktail treatment.
''This can, however, only be realized with the unfailing support from their relatives and friends, and the acceptance by the public at large,'' the spokesman said.
A premiere of the API, jointly launched by the DH and Committee on Promoting Acceptance of People Living with HIV/AIDS, will be held during the Hong Kong Silver Shield Basketball Tournament 2005 at MacPherson Playground, Mong Kok tomorrow at 4 pm.
More information on HIV/AIDS can be obtained by calling the AIDS Hotline at 2780 2211 or visiting the website www.27802211.com
End/Friday, April 8, 2005