New UK Health Guidelines signal progress for PLHIV and community.

September 30, 2013

In August this year, the UK National Health Service (NHS) announced that it would lift a 20 year ban on HIV positive healthcare workers, such as surgeons, dentists and midwives from practicing in their field. The policy comes into effect in April 2014. The decision was welcomed by scientists, advocates and civil society actors, such as the National AIDS Trust (NAT) many of whom had been actively campaigning on this issue for years. It is also welcomed by the estimated 110 HIV positive healthcare workers in the NHS.


Health care workers are required to be on combination Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART), have an undetectable viral load, and be regularly tested and monitored.

 

Due to the to roll out of Anti-Retroviral Therapy the risk of transmission of a person living with HIV who has an undetectable viral load is extremely low. The government says that patients will have more chance of being struck by lightning than being infected with HIV by a health worker who is on ART . There have only been four cases worldwide of HIV being transmitted in a healthcare setting, and these cases were before the availability of ART.

 

A sure sign of progress is when decision-making by policy makers is based on scientific evidence, rather than outdated rules and attitudes. Many HIV-related policies were designed during the 1980’s, before progress was made in both education and treatment. Deborah Jack, Chief Executive of National AIDS Trust welcomed the policy for being “based on scientific evidence and not on fear, stigma, or outdated information”.

 

With increased awareness of HIV and treatment, we now know that discriminatory guidelines in today’s context do not protect patients, but instead keep qualified people from moving ahead in their chosen field.  The NHS changes will also encourage more people to get tested, with less fear about what the outcome will mean for their lives and careers.

 

As the NAT statement outlines, “It also sends an important message to young people growing up with HIV telling them they don’t have limitations set upon what they can achieve and become”.

 

Policy change plays an important part in changing public attitudes. We all have our part to play in working together to improve public understanding and encourage policy makers to support those living with HIV.

 

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Why Making Music Matters to Your Toddler

September 21, 2013

 

It’s no secret that making music is super fun. But did you know that making music also benefits your toddler? Find out why making music with your child matters, and how you can explore music more with SPRING Hong Kong.

Music is Educational

Making music gets kids moving, and all children learn through movement. This helps your child refine their motor skills, balance, and muscle development. Some studies also suggest that music stimulates the parts of the brain that are associated with reading, math, and emotional development. Research also suggests that making music helps children remember more by stimulating different patterns of brain development.



Music is Fun

Making music helps your child develop socially. Playing in a band or orchestra allows a child to learn how to work in a team and take turns. An interest in music also gives children an opportunity to relate to other children on the playground, in class, or in band. Music is a great friendship starter! Making music also helps your bond better with your little one through time spent dancing, singing, and being silly together.

Now you know music is beneficial, but how do you get started? Singing while doing everyday activities like cleaning, cooking, or getting ready is a good start. Make up a song to go along with daily chores to make the activity more fun and memorable for your toddler. Introduce your child to your favorite tunes to build a stronger connection and to teach them to fall in love with their own favorites. To develop rhythm, sing songs without words by using your hands, feet, tongue, and everyday objects around the house. Take time to dance and get silly with your child, and don’t forget to have fun!


Do you incorporate music at home? Tell us in the comments below how you and your toddle like to make music.

For more advice, tips, and more, visit SPRING online. Parents and carers are invited to come check out SPRING and say hello to the team. Discovery Classes are available to see what SPRING has to offer first-hand. Course descriptions are available for each programme.


Visit SPRING online:

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Get Cookin’ With SPRING Learning Centre Hong Kong

September 21, 2013

Cooking with your children is a great family bonding activity, but it has developmental benefits too. Teaching your child about cooking is a great way to talk about health, nutrition, and to give your child a little bit of independence. So, where do you start? SPRING has a few easy tips and child-friendly recipes for you to try.


Be Patient

Cooking with your child will take longer than cooking alone. Take the time to teach your child about each ingredient and tool. It’ll also be a lot messier than cooking alone. Try laying a tray underneath their workstation to catch some of the crumbs that fall.

Be Prepared

Pick a recipe ahead of time based on your child’s tastes, the difficulty level, and how long it will take. Make sure you have all the ingredients and tools needed ahead of time. Make sure you and your child are wearing clothes that can get dirty and that dangerous tools stay out of reach.

Be Educational and Fun

Talking through the recipe is a great way to get children to recognize words and practice their reading skills. It’s also great for teaching how to follow instructions. If a recipe calls for a certain weight, help your child with math by adding, subtracting, and measuring. Cooking is the perfect time to talk about hygiene. Make sure your child washes up before, during, and after cooking, as well as rinses off vegetables and raw meats. But most importantly, make sure your child has fun! Let them touch, smell, and taste along the way.


Now it’s time to get cookin’! Try this kid-friendly Spaghetti and Meatballs Recipe to start. Do you have any cooking tips or family-friendly recipes? Share in the comments below!

For more advice, tips, and more, visit SPRING online. Parents and carers are invited to come check out SPRING and say hello to the team. Discovery Classes are available to see what SPRING has to offer first-hand. Course descriptions are available for each programme.


Visit SPRING online:

http://www.spring-learning.com.hk

Like our Facebook page:

http://www.facebook.com/SpringLearningCentreHongKong

Check out our Youtube:

http://www.youtube.com/user/SpringHongKong

Check out our Pinterest:

http://pinterest.com/springhk/

Follow our Twitter:

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Greyhound cafés: where fashion meets food and art creates atmosphere

September 19, 2013

Cafés and restaurants come in and out of fashion. But at our urban hangout Greyhound café you’ll always be in vogue because Greyhound cafés first came into existence from a fashion label in Bangkok. When you dine in our venues, you’ll find that everything around you – from the fresh food to the creative décor, has been carefully styled.

Of course, we make sure that the Thai-influenced menus, the service and the ambience are always top-notch, but never have we lost sight of our first love: art. We’ve got creativity from wall-to-wall and art inspires everything that we do, including our food.

 

We don’t cook our food, we create it. At Greyhound café we serve simple foods with a twist: traditional and modern cooking techniques mingle; elements of urban street food and refined haute cuisine go side by side; ingredients from local and international culture are fused together to invent something blissful. With this many contrasts, it’s no wonder that our fusion food has been such a hit.

 

If you drop in for our renowned brunch, you’ll be plated a mouthwatering choice of fusion cuisine options – from Bacon and Egg in the Hole (bacon bits with eggs cooked in Thai hot tray, served with baguette) to Noodles with Thai Braised Beef soup.


Traditional art galleries have great looking artwork for your eyes. But the dishes in Greyhound café stimulate all the senses. The food is made to look great, smells incredible and tastes sensational, all because of the personal touch from our creative chefs. Sounds enticing, doesn’t it?

 

Art should be interactive. Dining with us is an inter-art-ive experience. Whether you’re in search of a muse or amusement, drop into one of our six branches for a kaleidoscope for the senses and a collide-o-scope where fashion meets food, art creates atmosphere and Asian and European cuisines come together in a happy union. We promise to brighten up your day in the most creative way.

 

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Italian al fresco dining in the heart of Hong Kong at Gaia

September 19, 2013

Gaia Ristorante, Hong Kong’s worst kept secret, is an elegant and sophisticated Italian restaurant. Located in the heart of Hong Kong on the Italian inspired piazza at Grand Millennium Plaza in Central, it is one of the few places in the city where it’s possible to dine al fresco.


Gaia is a well established restaurant brand in Asia and it’s not hard to see why; it has gained a loyal following from customers who appreciate the welcoming ambience, refined style and authentic Italian cuisine. It is the perfect location to bring clients for important business meetings, and even to catch up with old friends.

The Italian a la carte menu at Gaia is traditional, but with contemporary flair. Traditional regional Italian classics take on a new lease of life under the guidance of our expert chefs – for example, in the Croccante di Polenta e Farro, beef carpaccio is served up with black truffle cheese, rocket, polenta and Parmigiano crisp, whilst in the house speciality Pappardelle all’ ischitana con coniglio alla “Gaetano,” homemade pasta is served tossed in a Sangiovese marinated rabbit ragout stew.



In addition to its outstanding a la carte menu, Gaia is also raved for its daily antipasto buffet, featuring a wide selection of fresh and authentic Italian dishes, including freshly sliced parma ham, Italian cheese and delicious salads. And with over 600 Italian and French fine wines on the wine list, diners will always be able to find the perfect Italian wine to accompany their meal.

Gaia means ‘happy’ or ‘positive’ in Italian, and there’s no doubt that you will leave with a smile on your face after a delicious fine dining experience at Gaia Ristorante.

 

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Va Bene: an Italian oasis in the heart of Hong Kong’s nightlife district

September 19, 2013

Located in the heart of Lan Kwai Fong, Hong Kong’s trendiest nightlife district, Va Bene, a well-established Italian restaurant, offers an oasis of sophistication, serving up authentic Italian cuisine in elegant surroundings.

The trendy trattoria serves up an impressive cellar of French and Italian fine wines, champagnes and grappas, and an extensive Italian a la carte menu, offering a stunning variety of authentic Italian antipasti, pizza, pasta fish and meat dishes made from the freshest ingredients. The menu includes Casoncelli alla Bergamasca e tartufo nero (Fresh pasta pockets filled with meat ragout in sage, butter, bacon and black truffle) and Involtini di sogliola ed asparagi al vino bianco e chips di zucca (Dover sole rolled with asparagus, served with white wine sauce and pumpkin chips). The only difficulty with this menu is having to choose between all these delicious options…


Decision-making is no easier when a selection of beautifully crafted desserts are presented, pretty as a picture, on a plate. Finish off the meal with a freshly brewed Italian coffee, served with homemade Italian biscotti, and bring the meal to the perfect conclusion.

Va Bene Italian restaurant was styled by award-winning New York architect Tony Chi and provides the perfect atmosphere in which to get away from the hustle and bustle of downtown Hong Kong. In the day, the restaurant is a great place for business lunches. In the evening, Va Bene provides an oasis of calm where you can have a romantic date or dinner with friends before going out for the night.


Just for a few hours, relax and allow Va Bene’s capable and experienced staff to look after your every need before you return to work or meet friends for a big night out in Lan Kwai Fong.

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Great views are best experienced with Italian food at Isola

September 19, 2013

Food tastes better in beautiful surroundings. That’s just one of the reasons why the Italian cuisine at Isola Italian restaurants tastes so exquisite. Isola restaurants are internationally renowned for their chic interiors and spectacular locations. Isola Hong Kong’s open concept restaurant is well known for its stylish interior and has a large outdoor terrace overlooking Hong Kong’s harbour. Its sister restaurant Isola Shanghai has a reminiscent style and also has a sweeping outdoor terrace with views of bustling Lujiazui and the Huangpu River.

Against these stunning backdrops, Isola restaurants offer customers a daily antipasti lunch buffet, and an a la carte menu of fresh Italian food made from the finest ingredients. Get your meal off to a great start by treating yourself to a delicious light starter like Vitello tonnato con capperi ed acciughe (Roasted Dutch organic veal loin with tuna sauce, capers, anchovies and salad leaves) or Zuppa di aragosta all’ Aragonese con cozze e pomodorini (Lobster bisque style soup with mussels and San Marzano baby tomatoes). You can watch your food being prepared by our experienced chefs in the open copper kitchens.

Main courses include authentic Italian pasta dishes and a wide range of seafood and meat dishes cooked in the restaurant’s open ovens and grill. But the piece de resistance is Isola’s famed stone baked pizza. Try the ‘Trifola’ with black truffle and crescenza cheese.

These ultra crispy pizzas are also available in Isobar, a funky lounge bar and outdoor terrace directly connected to Isola Hong Kong. Isobar shares the same sensational views of the Kowloon skyline and is a great location in which to enjoy a casual lunch or pre-dinner cocktails from the exceptional drinks list.

Come and be seen at this happening scene with stunning scenery – at Isola and Isobar.

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