Global pharmaceutical leader GSK teamed up with the Home of Red Ribbon to launch an HIV education and prevention program, in a bid to offer more understanding and care for China's HIV patients.
With the support of GSK China, the Home of Red Ribbon has established a three-year program, including a self-management program, to boost patients' confidence in combating the disease, and help them integrate into society.
In addition, by introducing a Buddy Program, which trains volunteers through working closely with patients alongside the Home of Red Ribbon staff members, the plan aims to enhance their knowledge and skills. This is critical in ensuring better overall care and support are provided to HIV sufferers.
In recent years, the rate of HIV infection among men who have sex with men (MSM) group has continued to rise. This is why the program will target both HIV-positive sexual partners and HIV-negative males within the group. Regular consultations and tests will be provided to enhance this group's self-protection awareness. Besides, through early detection, it can also help to decrease the overall spread of the disease.
Emma Walmsley, CEO of GSK, said, "Meeting the needs of people living with HIV, whether through medical treatment or by providing psychological care and support, has always been at the core of our AIDS prevention and treatment efforts."
"Thanks to the support of the Chinese government, HIV/AIDS has now become a preventable and treatable chronic disease in China. From eliminating social discrimination to providing access to innovative medications, we remain committed to addressing these issues," she said.
She also noted that "What lies ahead of us is still very challenging. The public's incorrect understanding over the disease, such as discrimination and bias towards people living with HIV, makes it difficult for the prevention and treatment of the disease."
"The geographic areas, the dense population, and China's floating population make the treatment and prevention quite challenging. I think we can continue to work together on the work. We should be confident and ambitious that we can make a difference," she said.
Chen Hang, chairman of the Home of Red Ribbon, said: "The mode of the Home of Red Ribbon, with the sponsorship of GSK, is now applied to other provincial regions in China, covering broader group of HIV patients. We believe that with the support of international enterprises such as GSK, HIV patients can get better treatment."