TVB’s most popular drama, “Life on the Line (跳躍生命線)”, once again over-dramatized the situation of people infected with the HIV virus.

The episode, broadcasted on November 6th and 7th, revolved around about the character, Cheung Ho-kei (Kei Kei), a motorcycle ambulancewoman played by the actress Moon Lau Pui Yuet, who accidentally injures herself with a used needle left by an IDU (injecting drug user).

The “climax” came when Kei Kei and all of her loved ones immediately began to insanely panic after the incident, sure that she must be infected with the worst virus “HIV”.

Due to the numerous misrepresentations depicted, we at HKAF would like to share some FACTS:

  1. When someone’s skins is accidentally punctured by a used needle, there may be a chance of infection by numerous viruses and bacteria, not only the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Other blood-borne diseases that could be transmitted include hepatitis B (HBV) and hepatitis C (HCV). As such, HIV should not be depicted as a monster.
  2. After any high-risk situation (e.g. needlestick injury, rape, etc.), the victim should seek medical treatment, such as the post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP), within 72 hours.
  3. In reality, a motorcycle ambulancewoman would know the risks involved in a needlestick injury and would likely not overreact as was shown in the drama.
  4. Though HIV is still incurable, it is now classed as a chronic disease with the emergence of HAART in the mid-‘90s. Proper treatment is the key to stay healthy. It is not doomsday!
  5. We are once again, urging broadcasters, such as TVB, to not over-sensationalize or stigmatize HIV/AIDS. As the main broadcaster in Hong Kong, they should be responsible and ensure they are presenting a true depiction of the facts to the general public.

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