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CDC August 2018 News

Date:2018-08-22

The Qixi Festival, or Chinese Valentine’s Day, celebrated on July 7 in the lunar calendar, could be traced back to a love story between Niu Lang and Zhi Nu in Shijing (The Classics of Poetry). Nowadays, the Qixi Festival has become an important day for people to show love. While enjoying the romantic atmosphere, Taiwan Centers for Disease Control (Taiwan CDC) reminds the public to practice safe sex and avoid using drugs to prevent HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. Taiwan CDC would also like to remind the public that HIV testing is available nationwide.

As of July 31, 2018, the number of new HIV infections was 1,156. The number decreased by 26% when compared to the same period of last year and was the lowest since 2012. It’s worth mentioning that the numbers of new HIV infections aged 15-24 and 25-34 have dropped by 32% and 25% respectively to 294 and 526.

The UNAIDS 90-90-90 goals are as follows: by 2020, 90% of people living with HIV know their status, 90% of people who know their status are on treatment, and 90% of people on treatment achieve viral suppression. Taiwan’s achievement rates of the above goals were 79%, 87%, and 90% in 2017. Several large international studies have indicated that if a person living with HIV is on treatment and the person’s HIV viral load has been undetectable for at least six months, the risk of transmission is almost zero. The key to success in controlling HIV epidemic is to keep as many infected persons on stable treatment as possible. In order to end the HIV epidemic, we have to work on reaching the 90-90-90 goals in Taiwan, especially the first one.

Taiwan CDC reminds people who have had unprotected sex to receive HIV and STD testing at least once. People with more than one sexual partners and people who use or inject drugs are recommended to receive HIV testing every 3-6 months.

Taiwan CDC is promoting a “Check-together” campaign and is working with local health bureaus and NGOs. This campaign encourages the public to register as volunteer mentors who promote the right concept of healthcare, introduce HIV testing service, and accompany friends to receive HIV testing. There are 57 HIV testing sites nationwide. During the campaign period from July 10 to September 30, 110 more sites will be providing HIV testing, including 10 hospitals with anonymous HIV testing, 1 NGO, 30 clinics, 66 medical inspection offices, and 3 LGBT-friendly centers. For more details, please visit the websites: https://checktogether.cdc.gov.tw (Check-together campaign) and https://goo.gl/pLLhMr (HIV-testing).

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