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HIV/AIDS foreign support still needed

Update: November, 27/2012 - 09:35

HA NOI (VNS)— Viet Nam will remain reliant on international assistance to combat HIV/AIDS for the forseeable future, according to Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc.

Speaking yesterday during a working session with donors in central Da Nang City, Phuc said the estimated cost for HIV/AIDS prevention and control activities over the period 2013-20 will be nearly VND27 trillion ($1.28 billion).

Viet Nam will try to diversify its funding sources by seeking support from public-private partnerships and health insurance, but it will still require financial assistance from international donors.

Phuc asked the donors to elaborate on their future financial commitments to help Viet Nam in its fight against HIV/AIDS.

He also emphasised the important role played by the international community in Viet Nam's success to accomplish its National Target Programme on HIV/AIDS prevention and control. Due to the donors' financial and technical assistance, as well as its own efforts, Viet Nam has expanded its HIV/AIDS treatment and care services while the relevant institutional framework has also been strengthened.

He said the fight against HIV/AIDS is ongoing because although cases of the disease are declining, it still remains latent.

Deborah Chatsis, Canadian Ambassador to Viet Nam and President of the HIV/AIDS Prevention Co-ordination Group, said Vietnam has made significant progress in fighting HIV/AIDS.

She said the international community was committed to continuing its support in helping Viet Nam prevent and control HIV/AIDS, but added that as Viet Nam had become a middle-income country, financial assistance will be gradually reduced while technical assistance and policy advice will remain in place.

Also yesterday, Phuc attended a meeting to review a community-based HIV/AIDS prevention programme which has just concluded its first phase. The programme was led by the Father Front, together with the ministries of health and culture, sports and tourism.

Since its launch in 2008, the programme has provided training activities for 4.3 million people nationwide and 18 million leaflets have been distributed. This awareness-raising programme has helped reduce the number of new HIV cases from 30,000 in 2006 to 14,000 last year.

As part of its second phase, the programme aims to help cut the number of new HIV cases related to sexually transmissions and drug use by half in the next three years.

Viet Nam hopes to reduce the number of people with HIV to 0.3 per cent by 2020. — VNS

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