The Virtual AIDS Office (VAO) of Hong Kong is an initiative of AIDS Unit , Special Preventive Programme, Public Health Services Branch of Centre for Health Protection, Department of Health, Hong Kong.
AIDS Unit is the operational arm of the Department of Health's Special Preventive Programme. It delivers both public health functions and clinical services on HIV/AIDS. In 1985, AIDS Unit began as an AIDS Counselling and Health Education Service. With the increasing number of HIV/AIDS patients, a clinical service was founded that worked closely with the counselling service. Since 1990, AIDS Unit has assumed the role of the secretariat to the Advisory Council on AIDS. In 1996, the Red Ribbon Centre was established to provide the base of the Unit's public health functions. In 1999, the opening of the Integrated Treatment Centre marked a new milestone in the provision of clinical services.
VAO functions as a clearinghouse of the Unit‘s four main programmes which are executed by the AIDS Unit’s HIV Prevention and Health Promotion Team based in Red Ribbon Centre, HIV Clinical Team based in Integrated Treatment Centre, AIDS Hotline and HIV Testing Service and Surveillance Office.
The Special Preventive Programme provides technical support and secretariat service for the Advisory Council on AIDS, Scientific Committee on AIDS and STI and the Expert Panel on HIV Infection of Health Care Workers.