HA NOI (VNS)— Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc urged the health sector to mobilise a mass movement comprising the public and entire political system to combat HIV/AIDS.
Phuc made the impassioned plea while reiterating the nation's commitment to conquering the disease at a meeting held on Saturday to mark World AIDS Day.
The Deputy PM said HIV carriers and those at high risk of HIV infection should receive access to HIV prevention, treatment and care services to reduce the threat of the disease spreading in community.
Phuc also praised the country's achievements in dealing with the HIV/AIDS pandemic over the past 20 years and particularly recent times, with the rates of new infection and fatalities both falling for the past four years consecutively.
Phuc also asked all ministries, sectors, social organisations and the people to continue strengthening awareness of HIV/AIDS prevention methods.
Besides boosting programmes that tackle stigma and discrimination towards HIV infection people, he asked the Ha Noi City to increase the amount of prevention, care and treatment services available to the public.
Ministry of Health statistics show that despite becoming controlled with only a small amount of increases during recent years, the country still faces a latent risk of a HIV boom.
For the first time, more HIV infections were transmitted through sexual contact than blood contact.
Meanwhile, HIV infections through unsafe sex way were a major cause in the southern west area.
In many mountainous provinces further north, especially the districts of Thanh Hoa and Nghe An provinces, HIV infection rates were high due to the inadequate knowledge of medical staff and the public.
Viet Nam is aiming to halve the number of new HIV infection cases caused by unsafe sex; eliminate HIV transmissions from mother to child and halve fatalities of HIV infected mothers by 2015.
HIV infection rates are also expected to fall sharply among drug addicts through the provision of preventive treatment services to all new infected cases by 2015.
According to the ministry, Viet Nam had over 204,000 people living with HIV and 61,856 deaths caused by AIDS related diseases since the first HIV infection case was reported in the country in 1990. — VNS