655 ‘Race Against Stigma’ in Sibu

The Borneo Post - - SOCIETY - De­cem­ber 9, 2018 By Oth­man Ishak re­[email protected]­bor­neo­post.com

SIBU: A to­tal of 655 par­tic­i­pants joined the 5km ‘Race Against Stigma’ or­gan­ised by the Sibu Hos­pi­tal In­fec­tious Dis­eases Unit yes­ter­day.

Held in con­nec­tion with World AIDS Day on Dec 1, par­tic­i­pants were mainly made up of med­i­cal per­son­nel. The ob­jec­tives of the run were to cre­ate aware­ness of HIV/AIDS, pro­mote zero dis­crim­i­na­tion and no stig­ma­ti­sa­tion to­wards peo­ple liv­ing with HIV/AIDS.

Sibu Hos­pi­tal di­rec­tor Dr Ngian Hie Ung, who flagged­off the race, said there are still many mis­con­cep­tions and myths re­gard­ing HIV/AIDS.

She said many still think HIV/AIDS is not treat­able and are afraid to go near HIV/AIDS pa­tients.

“HIV/AIDS is not cur­able but it is treat­able. In fact these days, we con­sider it to be a chronic dis­ease much like our di­a­betes and hy­per­ten­sion,” she ex­plained.

“Once you have it, you have it for life, but, it is very much treat­able with good out­comes.”

Ngian said the four main routes of trans­mis­sion are sex­ual in­ter­course, shar­ing of nee­dles, through blood prod­ucts such as trans­fu­sion, and from mother to foe­tus.

“It can­not be trans­mit­ted through shak­ing hands, hug­ging, kiss­ing, shar­ing the same food, or even us­ing the same toi­let. We or­gan­ise this event in the hope that the pub­lic will be more aware of HIV/AIDS. We do not dis­crim­i­nate nor judge them,” she said.

Ngian said work­ing to­gether would cre­ate a bet­ter and more ful­fill­ing liv­ing en­vi­ron­ment for peo­ple liv­ing with HIV/AIDS.

HIV/AIDS is not cur­able but it is treat­able. In fact these days, we con­sider it to be a chronic dis­ease much like our di­a­betes and hy­per­ten­sion. — Dr Ngian Hie Ung, Sibu Hos­pi­tal di­rec­tor

A par­tic­i­pant pushes a stroller dur­ing the ‘Race Against Stigma’.

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