HCM CITY (VNS)— A programme to privatise HIV prevention and treatment and foster growth of a viable commercial market for HIV-related goods was launched in HCM City yesterday.
The five-year Healthy Market Project, undertaken with funding from USAID, will support a phased transition from an environment where condoms and other HIV-prevention goods and services are predominantly subsidised to one where non-subsidised commodities, services and distribution channels are the norm.
To create a market for HIV-related goods and services, the project will explore new markets with manufacturers, create opportunities for new distribution channels, and increase demand among key populations like injecting drug users, female sex workers, and men who have sex with men.
It will assist with market and consumer behaviour research, policy and regulatory support, technical assistance, and private sector engagement opportunities.
It will help identify and address policy as well as administrative barriers to market entry, and establish a government-endorsed condom "Quality Seal" programme.
There will be an innovation fund offering grants to improve supply and stimulate demand for condoms and sterile needles and syringes and ensure delivery of HIV testing and counselling from private sector providers.
The project will be implemented by nonprofit organisation PATH in co-operation with the Centre for Creative Initiatives in health and Population and T&A Ogilvy Joint Venture Ltd.
Le Truong Giang, chairman of the Public Health Association, told Viet Nam News that the programme would help achieve the goal of involving the private sector and the entire community in the fight against HIV considering foreign funding for it, which accounts for 80 per cent, is drying up.
It dovetails with HCM City's HIV prevention plans for the next five years, which envisages involving the private sector and society, he said.
There should be more policies to enable co-operation between the private sector and public health facilities tasked with HIV prevention, he said. — VNS