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HIV prevention fund anticipates donor cuts

Update: October, 09/2013 - 10:06

The country should increase domestic funds for HIV/AIDS prevention to compensate for forthcoming reduction in international sponsor money, Deputy Health Minister Nguyen Thanh Long has urged.— File Photo

HA NOI (VNS)— The country should increase domestic funds for HIV/AIDS prevention to compensate for forthcoming reduction in international sponsor money, Deputy Health Minister Nguyen Thanh Long has urged.

Long said that to reach the targets set in the National Strategy on HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control by 2020 with a vision to 2030, financial resources must remain stable.

The total funding available from different sources from now until 2015 is VND3.7 trillion (US$176 million), which he said could finance only half of the necessary work.

The Ministry of Health has appealed for money from central agencies, localities, national and international enterprises and individuals, and will receive a sizeable sum from the state budget.

Increasing the amount of the health insurance funds that will pay for HIV/AIDS prevention services was also an important measure implemented by the ministry.

The country now has no official statistics on the number of people living with HIV/AIDS and buying health insurance and the number of people with health insurance cards who have been treated for the virus.

Collecting this data has been made a priority so that funding for increasing preventative treatment can be raised, said Long.

Moreover, the work of HIV/AIDS prevention should be socialised, so that human and financial resources can be provided by the whole society, he stated.

By the end of last year, more than 12,000 people received treatment for drug addiction with methadone, which is used as a pain reliever and is part of drug addiction detoxification and maintenance programme.

It has been targeted that by 2015 about 80,000 people will receive the treatment, which has been praised for stopping drug users from using tainted syringes which can spread HIV/AIDS.

Only 25 per cent of the districts in the country supply HIV/AIDS treatment with anti-retroviral medication and only 20 per cent of districts have services to prevent HIV transmission from mothers to children.

The US President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) is the source which gives Viet Nam the most funds for its preventative programme.

However, PEPFAR officially announced that it would cut down the financial support gradually from this year and will give the country technical support following that. — VNS

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