|A health worker takes care for a people living with HIV. The Health Ministry yesterday launched the national action month for HIV/AIDS prevention and control that runs from November 10 to December 10 annually. — Photo anninhthudo.vn
HA NOI (VNS) — The Health Ministry yesterday launched the national action month for HIV/AIDS prevention and control that runs from November 10 to December 10 annually.
The theme for this year's action month is "Towards 90-90-90 target to end AIDS epidemic in Viet Nam".
Last year, Viet Nam was the first country in Asia to commit to the HIV treatment targets 90-90-90.
The ambitious targets aim that by 2020: 90 per cent of people living with HIV will know their HIV status, 90 per cent of people who know their status are on HIV treatment and 90 per cent of all people on treatment will have undetectable levels of HIV in their body (known as viral suppression). Viet Nam's commitment to these targets puts the country on course to end its AIDS epidemic by 2030.
According to the Department of HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control under the Health Ministry, the nation action month for HIV/AIDS fights will see activities promoting HIV/AIDS prevention and control.
The department also planned to organise conferences, marches and fund raising events to help people living with HIV/AIDS.
The activities aimed to reduce discrimination against people living with HIV/AIDS and increase support for them, the department director Nguyen Hoang Long said.
He said that so far 100,000 people living with HIV/AIDS received antiretroviral (ARV) treatment. There were only 500 patients receiving ARV treatment in 2004 when HIV programmes were introduced in Viet Nam.
This statistic proved Viet Nam's commitment to the fight against the HIV/AIDS epidemic, he said.
Since the first HIV carrier was detected in Viet Nam in 1990, the country reported almost 230,000 people living with HIV, while 70,000 of them died of the disease.
Viet Nam has seen a significant decline in the number of new HIV infections, from 30,000 in 2007 to 12,000 in 2013, while the numbers of AIDS patients and fatalities have also reduced by half to about 3,000 people.
Viet Nam has faced challenges in the HIV/AIDS fight including a lack of publicity for HIV/AIDS services, treatment costs not being covered by health insurance and reduced international support since the country was classified as a middle income country. — VNS