Hong Kong Med J 2006;12:133-40 | Number 2, April 2006
Twenty years of clinical human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) in Hong Kong
KH Wong, SS Lee, KCW Chan
Integrated Treatment Centre, Special Preventive Programme, Centre for Health Protection, Department of Health, Hong Kong
OBJECTIVE. To elucidate the development of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) clinical care and research in Hong Kong.
DATA SOURCES. Articles on clinical HIV and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) published from 1985 to 2004 were identified through four sources: Red Ribbon Centre, Special Preventive Programme, Secretariat of the Scientific Committee on AIDS, and PubMed search. The first three are operated by the Centre for Health Protection, Department of Health, Hong Kong.
STUDY SELECTION. Key words for the literature search were ‘AIDS’, ‘HIV’, and ‘Hong Kong’.
DATA EXTRACTION. Only papers with original local data were included.
DATA SYNTHESIS. Sixty papers were identified. The contents were catalogued under seven areas: clinical epidemiology, HIV disease course and presentation, specific complications or organ-based manifestations, immunological evaluation and other monitoring, antiretroviral therapy, HIV/AIDS mortality, and HIV in specific groups. Prevalence of HIV has remained low in Hong Kong but new infections continue to occur together with a significant number of late presenters. Three published AIDS patients’ series, up to the first 200 reported cases, identified Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia as the most common AIDS-defining illness in Hong Kong. Penicillium marneffei and Mycobacterium tuberculosis were two important specific infections studied most; uniqueness of the former in patients of South-East Asia was evident. Local studies of Kaposi's sarcoma and HIV-associated lymphoma have also been reported. Research on CD4 counts has revealed that it is lower in healthy and HIV-infected Chinese than their western counterparts. Children, pregnant women, and haemophiliac patients infected with HIV are among the specific groups of patients studied. Survival of patients with advanced disease has greatly improved over the years, particularly after the advent of highly active antiretroviral therapy.
CONCLUSION. The clinical presentation and outcome of HIV/AIDS patients in Hong Kong are a mixture of those of western and developing countries. Research on clinical HIV/AIDS in Hong Kong is not only beneficial to the planning of patient care, but also enables the formulation of treatment guidelines and provides a reference for other countries.
Key words: Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome; Antiretroviral therapy, highly active; Epidemiology; HIV infections; Sexually transmitted diseases
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