Viet Nam News
HCM CITY— The Việt Nam Administration for AIDS Control in coordination with PATH has launched an oral HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) service in Việt Nam.
Under the PrEP service which was launched on Monday, people who are at substantial risk of contracting HIV take an antiretroviral drug which contains tenofovir every day as part of a combination HIV-prevention strategy.
When people are exposed to HIV through sex or recreational drug injections, the oral HIV PrEP may work to keep them from becoming infected.
PrEP taken on a consistent basis has been shown to reduce the risk of HIV infection in people who are at high risk by up to 92 per cent.
Since 2015, the World Health Organisation has strongly recommended PrEP as part of a combination HIV-prevention strategy for people at substantial risk of contracting HIV.
“PrEP is a new and evidenced-based method for HIV prevention that is increasingly being adopted around the world, including in lower- and middle-income countries,” said Dr. Nguyễn Hoàng Long, director of Việt Nam Administration for AIDS Control.
“By introducing PrEP services in Việt Nam, we have the opportunity to dramatically reduce the number of new HIV cases and eliminate HIV in Việt Nam by 2030,” Long said.
“Once again, we see Việt Nam leading the region in HIV innovations and making key HIV services available to those who need them the most,” Mary Tarnowka, US Consul General, said.
“We greatly value our longstanding Việt Nam-US partnership and are working together to propel Việt Nam towards the 90-90-90 (90 per cent of all people living with HIV will know their HIV status; 90 per cent of all people with diagnosed HIV infection will receive sustained antiretroviral therapy; and 90 per cent of all people receiving antiretroviral therapy will have viral suppression) goals by 2020,” she said.
The introduction of PrEP services is part of the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) through the Healthy Markets project, a five-year initiative funded by the US Agency for International Development (USAID).
“The integration of PrEP into HIV services in Việt Nam will provide a huge boost to reduce new HIV cases among those most at risk,” said Dr. Kimberly Green, chief of party for Healthy Markets.
“The aim of this PrEP pilot is to model how services can best be targeted and offered in a sustainable way. Results will be used to inform national guidelines and future PrEP financing,” she said.
PrEP prescriptions began in March. The pilot programme will run until September 2018 at which time the results will be documented and presented to the Ministry of Health for the following steps. —VNS