TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- According to the announcement made by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) on Friday, the nation is looking to increase the number of hospitals around the island designated to provide care for HIV and AIDS patients from 2018.
The announcement was made at a press conference, where CDC Director-General Chou Jih-Haw (周志浩) said Taiwan is expected to see four additional hospitals that will be given the responsibility to provide medical care to HIV and AIDS patients by next year.
The total number of hospitals around Taiwan designated for HIV and AIDS will then increase to a total number of 73.
Chou also added that the current number of pharmacies where patients can get the required information and obtain medicine for HIV and AIDS will be increased to 17 from the current four.
The statistics provided by the CDC suggest that out of 35,581 infected HIV patients, 29,625 are still alive and are seeking medical help. However, there still are some 6-10 percent of HIV-infected patients who do not seek any medical help, which causes them difficulties, major illness and even death.
The event was also used to promote healthcare and speakers talked about their personal experiences about why seeking medical help was of vital importance.
One of the infected patients known by the name 'Lady bug' told his story about being infected and how he had suffered a stroke after he was diagnosed with HIV. He also talked about society's stigma and what were his biggest fears as an HIV-positive person.
He continued promoting the idea of seeking immediate medical attention and said by taking medicine on time and getting regular checkups done, he was able to reduce the virus level to undetectable which ultimately allowed him to live like any other normal person.
At the time he discovered his disease, his sister said she thought it would be really hard to find someone to care for him but to her surprise a caretaker was found in no time which led her to feel better about the improving mentality of the society about HIV and about people who are affected by it.
Chou concluded his speech by mentioning that the goal of the CDC was "zero infections, zero deaths and zero discrimination," echoing the United Nations "My health, my right" principles.
People around the world have united to show support for people living with AIDS on December 1 since 1988.