The HCM City-based Centre for Promotion of Quality of Life (LIFE) is providing 12,000 sets of rapid HIV tests free to high-risk groups, including men who have sex with men (MSM), transgender women, drug users and prostitutes via community-based organisations. — Photo vnexpress.net
HCM CITY — The HCM City-based Centre for Promotion of Quality of Life (LIFE) is providing 12,000 sets of rapid HIV tests free to high-risk groups, including men who have sex with men (MSM), transgender women, drug users and prostitutes via community-based organisations.
Counseling on the free service is provided via the centre’s hotline 0943 108 138 and community-based organisations.
The service is a part of the international PATH organisation’s Healthy Markets project, a five-year initiative which aims to provide a viable market for HIV-related goods and services capable of meeting the needs of populations facing the greatest risks.
The service is funded by the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief through the US Agency for International Development (USAID).
At the end of August, the Ministry of Health in co-operation with the US Embassy officially launched the first-ever HIV self-testing services, which use oral fluids, in Việt Nam.
Last December, counselling and rapid testing for HIV that takes blood from a person’s finger was provided free to MSM and transgender women in a pilot programme.
These activities are efforts of the Việt Nam Administration of HIV/AIDS Control and the US government to increase access to HIV tests among high-risk groups in the country.
The groups can do self-tests or receive assistance from the staff of community-based organisations who are trained in testing and will maintain patients’ confidentiality.
The rapid HIV tests have helped reduce overcrowding at health facilities, according to the centre.
The Việt Nam Administration of HIV/AIDS Control reports that more than 200,000 people have been diagnosed with HIV infection in the country. Of these, 110,000 have received anti-retroviral therapy.—VNS