Olympic bronze medalist flyweight boxer Huang Hsiao-wen (黃筱雯) has released a government-sponsored short video on World AIDS Day yesterday to raise awareness about HIV testing, in the hope that people infected with the virus can seek treatment earlier.
The one-minute video shows Huang getting knocked down during a fight, only to pull herself up again.
“Maybe I can’t change my environment or what others think of me, but I can change my fate. I believe by not surrendering and succumbing to fate and bravely living my life, I will be victorious,” Huang says in the video to motivate herself before continuing the fight.
The video, to be used as a public service announcement, aims to inform people that HIV tests are nonintrusive and can be done privately and discreetly, Huang said on Tuesday.
Many hospitals provide anonymous testing services, while self-test kits can be ordered online from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and collected at convenience stores, said Huang, the CDC’s promotional ambassador for this year’s World AIDS Day.
Born in 1997, Huang won Taiwan’s first Olympic boxing medal at the Tokyo Olympics this year, after winning bronze at the 2018 Asian Games and gold at the 2019 International Boxing Association (amateur) Women’s World Boxing Championships.
CDC Deputy Director-General Philip Lo (羅一鈞) said he expects about 1,250 HIV cases this year, down 11 percent from 1,389 cases last year.
Case numbers have steadily dropped over the past four years, with 2,508 in 2017, 1,983 in 2018 and 1,748 in 2019, Lo said.
Taiwan hopes to achieve the Joint UN Programme on HIV and AIDS’ 95-95-95 target by 2025, he said.
That means that 95 percent of HIV-positive people know about their infection, 95 percent of knowingly HIV-positive people receive sustained antiretroviral therapy and 95 percent of those in therapy have suppressed viral loads.
Lo said that Taiwan is at 90 percent, 93 percent and 95 percent respectively, and expects to raise the share of those receiving antiretroviral therapy by 1 percentage point until the end of this year.
To reach that goal, the CDC prioritizes testing, he said.
CDC data showed that 34,477 people in Taiwan are HIV-positive, and 7,550 have died related to the disease since it was first reported.
Observed annually on Dec. 1, World AIDS Day is dedicated to raising awareness of the disease and remembering those who have died from AIDS-related conditions.
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