HA NOI (VNS)— The number of new HIV infections in Viet Nam declined over the past three years but several provinces in the north and in the Mekong Delta show an increasing number of cases, reflecting the lack of access to treatment and care in those areas, according to UNICEF Viet Nam's deputy representative.
New HIV infections in children worldwide are down, but reaching the goal of an AIDS-free generation requires treating more pregnant women and children living with HIV, UNICEF said yesterday.
National and provincial level efforts to prevent HIV are beginning to pay dividends in the country, but there are still significant problems.
"However, women and children remain particularly vulnerable and while the rate of new infections among men is declining, in a number of provinces in the north and the Mekong Delta, the number of new infections among women is increasing and many women in remote areas experience considerable difficulty in accessing care and treatment services," said Jesper Moller, UNICEF Viet Nam's Deputy Representative.
Viet Nam has expanded the provision of life-saving antiretroviral medication with support from major donors.
The demand for these medications is going to increase significantly in the next few years but supply will not be able to keep pace with the increase in demand.
Three Nos pledge
About 1,000 city residents have pledged to work to reach the goal of Three Nos – no new person with HIV, no new person with AIDS and no discrimination against people with HIV/AIDS.
At a meeting held in District 6's Phu Lam Park yesterday, they also called on all residents to undertake the pledge as the city marked World AIDS Day, which falls on today.
The meeting, organised by the HCM City Committee for AIDS Prevention, was part of the city's national action month for HIV/AIDS prevention and control that ends on December 10.
For the action month, the committee has carried out a "30,000 fingerprints" campaign to get people commit to HIV/AIDS prevention measures.
It has also presented gifts to more than 1,000 HIV/AIDS patients in hospitals and shelters throughout the city.
City records show that as of September this year, 46,990 people have been infected with HIV, including 21,427 with AIDS. Of these, 9,476 died. — VNS